Letter by Sohail Awan

Friday, February 7, 2014
Right to self-defence

As a direct response to the letter ‘Arms for citizens’ (Jan 28) by M. Akram Niazi published in DAWN, regarding the right of citizens to carry non-prohibited bore arms and ammunition for self-defence, I want to critique the argument thus formed. Yes, there is protection of law for the right of self-defence. Article 9 clearly guarantees the security of a person as a fundamental right, “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty saves in accordance with law.” And as it deems right, in today’s society in which we live, the right to self defence very well dictates our right to life. However, what will happen if by law we allow every citizen to carry arms, for the purpose of self defence. We know how corrupt our administrative and bureaucratic structure is and we know how extremism runs deep in the veins of our society. So what will happen if permits are being issued for licensing of arms and ammunition across the country? The whole country would become more prone to civil war than anything else. Our judiciary system would fail even more miserably than ever and there would be little to defend. So before we run into the hasty agreement over permission for arms and ammunition across nation for self defence, we need to analyse the end-results. It would, I believe, be far better for everyone to work in their capacity to empower the institutions who are essentially the caretakers and responsible bodies for the preservation of our life, liberty and property.