Missing weapons – Dawn Editorial
It could well mean the Taliban and a large number of other terrorist militias have sympathisers and activists well-entrenched in the provincial law-enforcement machinery.
Even though there is little that surprises people at this juncture, the report that no less than three million weapons have disappeared from official warehouses in Punjab is appalling.
The details are shocking and give us an idea of the layers of corruption in the law-enforcement structure in the country’s most populous province. Yesterday, this newspaper carried a report based on an official document that revealed the ways in which weapons including grenades and Kalashnikov submachine guns seized from criminals and terrorists went missing: one, not all the arms seized by the police from individuals and gangs were deposited in the district and provincial malkhanas; two, no less than three million of a bewildering variety of arms deposited in the two categories of malkhanas and arsenals of the official bomb disposal squad disappeared.
The Punjab home department must be commended for preparing the report. In fact, it must have been shocked by the contents of the finding. It is a mystery though why the Punjab government did not deem it fit to order an inquiry to fix guilt and take action against those involved in a criminal enterprise of such dimensions. While the details of the weapons that have disappeared have been covered in the Dawn story, it bears repetition to recall that the number of lethal weapons which have gone missing include 3,454 grenades and 4, 490 of the killing machines that are Kalashnikovs.
One can only guess the modus operandi and motives behind the weapons lost. A large number of the weapons must have been sold to criminals by men who are supposed to guard the arsenal, and many others must have been gifted to terrorist outfits. If this is established, this could well mean the Taliban and a large number of other terrorist militias have sympathisers and activists well-entrenched in the provincial law-enforcement machinery.
The disappearances could also mean that Punjab warehouses are one of the terrorists’ major sources of arms ….
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