Sir: On 13 December 2017, the Sindh Home Minister made a pledge to the business community for provision of gun licenses. Asking citizens to undertake security on self-help or vigilante basis is tantamount to a government’s admission of its own failure to protect its citizens. It is also a manifestation of government’s support for proliferation of weapons that in turn leads to yet more crime and violence.The government in Pakistan requires every petrol pump in the country to defend its own self and have its own guns and guards. It also expects the same from every bank, every private and government educational institute, every factory and every business house. In short it has become increasingly evident that the government has decided to limit its security-net exclusively to its ruling class while the ordinary citizens are left to seek security companies or simply fend for themselves. Abandoning its primary responsibility to protect its citizens, the state has increasingly begun to appear like a ‘Republic of Private Security Agencies’. We as ‘Citizens Against Weapons’ are deeply disillusioned at the government’s attitude of rapidly relinquishing its responsibility towards the security of its ordinary citizens. We believe that it was inappropriate for the Sindh Home Minister to pledge gun licenses to the business community. Instead he should have undertaken measures to reduce guns and violence in the city. The state ought to be viewed not as a ‘gun supporting’ but a ‘gun eliminating’ body. We appeal to the government to shun its policy of generous and whimsical distribution of gun licenses. It is time to reduce and not increase the 20 million guns already held by the citizens in Pakistan.NAEEM SADIQ KarachiPublished in Daily Times, December 22nd 2017.