Peshawar administration bans toy guns

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: Photo By News Lens Pakistan /

Peshawar: The District Government Peshawar has again put a ban on the sale of toy guns during the month of Ramazan, to persuade the parents and the rest of the community to avoid getting their children influenced by the gun culture .
Talking to News Lens Pakistan, Feroz Shah, the Public Relations Officer to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Peshawar, says, “Since the sale of toy guns increases in Ramazan, because parents buy their children toy guns as an Eid gift, therefore a ban is imposed every year during the month of fasting.”

The DC Peshawar has empowered the city police with the authority to arrest sellers of toy guns under section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Anyone found flouting a public order by the police is liable to be arrested under this section.

Shah told News Lens Pakistan that so far the district government has sealed 28 shops. More shops, he says, would be closed in coming days.

“We will inform media about the development on this issue after Eid,” says Shah.
Poha Foundation, a Peshawar-based NGO and a lead campaigner against toy guns term such a ban unrealistic.

“Banning the sale of toy guns for only one month is not an effective strategy. The government should impose a complete ban on toy guns through legislation, so that this menace is tackled once and for all.
“Four major importers are selling guns in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). It is unfortunate that none of them is aware of the negative effects of toy guns on the behavior of the children. Obviously, a businessman is concerned only about the bottom-line, it is for the government to protect people from the harmful business activities carried out in the name of fun or profiteering.

“We are inadvertently promoting militancy in KP. We have a song in Pashtu with a lyric ‘Khudkasha Dhmaka’ (Suicide Blast), and eateries named ‘Sheikh Bomber Tikka House,’”said Shafiq Gigyani, the Chief Executive Officer, Poha Foundation.

A Clinical Psychologist at Aga Khan University Hospital, Dr Nargis Asad had been reported in media saying that pretend guns and other such toys leave very negative impact on children in society. Our children she said were already surrounded by a lot of violence in the form of bomb blasts, target killings, assassinations, etc.

“Citizens of America had a strong movement against toy-arms in the 70s but unfortunately in our society, parents are unaware about such activities and its consequences.“Children also start liking negative characters, and want to ‘play’ terrorist in these games. Such toys increase aggression and desire of controlling others with negative authority. Research proves that children who watch aggressive cartoons also have different behavior compared to others.“This activity can lead children to start accepting violence.“Parents should be very careful while choosing toys for their kids.”Parents should choose toys, which help brain development, enhance abstract and logical thinking and are helpful in increasing mental and physical capabilities,” she advised. Parents can play a major role in eliminating violent behavior among children,” said Asad. (http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/karachi/03-Aug-2013/violence-or-play-do-toy-guns-nurture-extremism among-children)

Mohammad Rome, the Executive Director of Pakhtunkhwa Cultural foundation told the NewsLens Pakistan that since three years his organization has been working with the government to underscore the effects of toy guns in children and how it promotes in them aggressive behavior.

Jaffer Shah, a provincial lawmaker says there is a dire need to bring out legislation against toy guns.
“I moved a resolution against toy guns last year in the KP Assembly which was adopted unanimously. However, since then there is a complete lull on this account. I am planning to move another resolution this year to shake the government out of its slumber on this important issue,” says Shah.
Toys guns are symbol of terror. Children learn that using force is not a harmful thing. This attitude could eventually lead them to militancy and wild attitude,” says Shah.

Nasir Khan who owns a toy shop in Peshawar’s famous Pepple market says that the administration put a ban on toy guns without informing the traders. He says he and other toy sellers have already bought toy guns worth millions of rupees.

“What does the government want us to do with this inventory? Let it rot. We will definitely sell it.

“Either the government should put a permanent ban on the toy guns or stop imposing one month ban because it hurts our business beside leaving little or no effects on the importance of this ban,” says Khan.

Nabi Gul, who is also running toy business in Peshawar, agrees that the modern pretend guns are too sophisticated and dangerously resemble original guns. He says toy guns that fire rubber bullets are also available in the market.

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