Getting a weapon license modified (for change of weapon) from the Ministry of Interior (the infamous MOI) is no easy task, this I learned the hard way. A dear friend called me up and asked me to do it on his behalf, he sent me his old MOI license, with a request to change the weapon on it as he had recently bought a new shotgun. Frankly, I didn’t know where to take a start from. A few phone calls to the MOI (weapons section) told me this wasn’t going to be easy. In writing this I’ll be frank and honest, to the point of being impolite and brattish, in that I hope someone somewhere with enough brains, a little sense of humor and lots of patience minus the red tape and bureaucratic “babooism” in him will take a serious or half serious note of it, and so help out a larger populace who is wont to suffer from the present “computerized” and (in)efficient system that is present today.
So to start this saga which lasted well over two and a half months, during which I ran out of patience umpteen times, I contacted the MOI (weapons section) through phone calls but that didn’t help. After some efforts someone there told me to contact the (infamous) NADRA. A few random calls on the helpline were equally useless. Next I solicited the help of a cousin who had “contacts” in NADRA, who after multiple calls told me to contact the MOI. So back to square one, I thought. That’s when I contacted a certain “section” in MOI (who had previously told me to contact NADRA), and was asked to submit a written application, along with old weapon license and a receipt of the dealer who had sold my friend the new weapon and also indicating the old weapon which he had bought from my friend. As I told my friend to get these things ready, he informed me to my horror that these had been already submitted to the MOI, but off course (you guessed it right) these were now untraceable.
Surely, my friend got the things ready in a giffy and sent them over to me through courier. All these ready, I sent them to the MOI. The man told me to wait for a week. Time passed, one week , then two, no phone call, and when contacted this time he told me a letter had be sent to NADRA with a copy of it to friend for further processing. Upon my insistence we got a photocopy of the letter addressed to NADRA (from MOI) and contacted NADRA who told us that they could not take “action” on a photocopy and needed the original letter from MOI. And so we waited for the magic to happen, and surely it did happen and so after a week my friend got the letter. This time, we contacted NADRA again with a copy of old license, ID card, MOI letter and asked for a license to be issued. No sir, they needed proof that a weapon had actually been bought from a dealer!!! But sir, I lamented, this is why MOI gave you a letter/NOC in the first place! No way, (means we actually don’t trust the MOI) hah! so again contacted the dealer who happily gave us another receipt filling in all details about the old weapon and the new one off course.
Well then we again go to NADRA, and “she” (Phew! that’s one tough dame!) tells us to pay the fee and gives us receipt with tracking number and tells us to wait. And so we wait. A week later went to NADRA and “she” gives us a Challan! Man, weren’t you supposed to give us the new license? No sir, please fill in the challan, sign it and get it stamped from the DC office! Holy smoke! So after filling in the challan, it was taken to the DC office who took a good two weeks to sign and stamp it. Again went to NADRA with an earnest request to give us the new license now, and also please extend the expiry to another five years as this one was going to expire in 2017 which is but a few months away. Sorry, we can’t do that, please come back after it expires. So with no option I decided to get it done till 2017. The papers submitted I was told to check after one month? One month? By then the hunting season will be over and this gun will be unused till next year. That’s when my friend decided to pull a few strings and contacted someone in NADRA who promised to help. Sure enough the guy did help us and got the new license printed in day! (surely things do move fast when you know someone in the right place). So this time went to the NADRA office to get the new license, only to be told that, they now need an authority letter in my name from my friend to collect the new license. Phew! $#%@@ I said in Punjabi and asked my friend to send me an authority letter addressed to NADRA. The letter sent I was finally handed over the new license. Hurrah! I say, victory to us.
The The whole system seems to have been designed by someone who is an expert in how not to do something the easy way, I am sure he/she/they are qualified by some high ranking university affiliated with the HEC et al, in essence a very well qualified “baboo” with impeccable record of service whose sole purpose in life would be not to facilitate the public at any cost and please his boss at all costs. Surprisingly there is but scarce information available about it on the NADRA or MOI website. A desolate link from the MOI lets you download a form, that’s it. A simple procedure could have been adopted, saving us months of trouble, frequent visits and inconvenience, but then this is the GOP, like it or not you’ll have to live by their rules.