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July 12, 2015

Call to make DHA a weapon-free neighbourhood


July 12, 2015

The Citizens Against Weapons, a citizens’ group working for a peaceful and weapon-free Pakistan, sent a letter to officials of the Defence Housing Authority, the Cantonment Board Clifton and many in Islamabad who control these institutions, asking them to make Defence in Karachi a weapon-free neighbourhood.
The letter says that members of the Citizens Against Weapons “believe that the only option for Pakistan to eliminate its devouring violence is to work proactively towards a weapon-free society”.
It further states: “DHA Karachi has a reputation for its well-managed and well-regulated housing schemes. “Sadly, its environments have been destroyed by hundreds of armed individuals and groups, who reside, roam about and menacingly drive around in DHA.
“These highly armed individuals and militant groups, often accompanied by hooded goons blatantly carry and display weapons on their person, in their vehicles and in front of their homes.
“Many have pitched permanent tents, containers or pickets, on public spaces. At places the DHA looks more like a war zone and less like a housing society.”
The citizens’ group urged the DHA to take the following initiatives and become the first gun-free housing society in Pakistan:
- Declare the entire area that constitutes the DHA as a weapon-free zone.
- Within the premises of DHA, no citizen, regardless of his/her rank or status, must be allowed to possess, carry, sell, store or display any weapon of any kind-licensed or otherwise. Place newspaper/TV ads as well as large-size banners at prominent locations to declare these rules.
- Armed individuals, guards or groups in front of any house, any street or any vehicle within the DHA premises will not be permitted.
- Gunfire originating from any house, regardless of the nature of occasion or status of the resident must be considered a violation of DHA rules - liable to cancellation of lease of

- Residents be asked to remove all tents, roadblocks, barriers and armed guards outside their gates within two weeks. Residents who do not comply be heavily fined and their DHA membership revoked.
- All transfer, gift and purchase of homes/plots/ shops must include an affidavit to abide by the gun control rules of DHA.

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