[dropcap1]A[/dropcap1]ccording to recent estimates, direct and indirect violence claims more than 740,000 lives each year globally. It has been catastrophic to the socio-economic and political stability of any country. It not only injures or kills but is also responsible for triggering forced displacement, eroding social capital, poverty, destroying infrastructure and underdevelopment.
Pakistan remained victim of armed violence in the recent past and most recently it has acquired a shape of poisonous octopus threatening even the very foundation of this republic. The term armed violence was never novel to the Pakistani society. However, recently there has been exponential increase in the intensity of this phenomenon. Almost on daily basis Pakistan’s electronic media is flooded with depressing and moving stories of armed violence from all across Pakistan. Even the situation is so worse that at times victim and perpetrator both don’t know the cause of such inhuman acts. These incidents are not confined to specific geographic location or area in Pakistan. Reports suggest that no part of Pakistan can be considered safe and on daily basis her citizens are losing lives to this menace. Unfortunately Pakistan has one of the greatest per capita rates of gun ownership. It is believed that some twenty million small arms and light weapons are in civilian hands. Similarly the rate of private gun ownership in Pakistan is 11.6 fire arms per 100 people which are too high for a country which is politically divided and economically segregated. The above mention facts enunciate the gravity of situation in Pakistan where SALW are available in ample quantity within her four corners
SPADO is an active member of the global Control Arms Coalition and International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). From the platform of such networks the organization is contributing toward the establishment of an effective Arms Trade Treaty, national control arms regimes and the implementation of the UN program of action on small arms and light weapons.
Similarly the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development highlights the role that states and civil society must play in preventing and reducing violence associated with war, crime, and social unrest. The Geneva Declaration commits signatories to Support initiatives to measure the human, social and economic costs of armed violence; undertake assessments to understand and respond to risks and vulnerabilities; evaluate the effectiveness of armed violence prevention and reduction programs around the world; and to disseminate lessons and best practices. SPADO is actively supporting the declaration and encourage the government of Pakistan to sign the Geneva Declaration in its true spirit, which will prove as a harbinger of peace and prosperity in Pakistan.