Govt to Stop Open Letter Car Sales

Director of the Motor Branch Region C Qamar-ul-Hasan Sajjad told the media on Thursday that the biometric verification system will eliminate the menace of buying and selling vehicles on open letters.

He stated that currently, the Excise and Taxation (E&T) Department does not have a penalty mechanism on the open letter vehicle sale, purchase, and ownership, but the biometric verification will help obliterate unforeseen security threats in Pakistan’s densely populated cities.


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The investigation of the recent terrorist attack in Johar Town, Lahore revealed that the ownership of the car used in the attack was on an open letter. As per the original documents, it was owned by Zafar Khan Tarrar, a resident of Mandi Bahaudin. The report added that Tarrar had been the first owner of the car and that it had changed hands four times afterward. The subsequent changes also took place by means of open letters.

As a part of the probe, all the owners, including Tarrar, were rounded up by the authorities for questioning.

Ishtiaq, a member of the dealer’s association of Moulana Shoukat Ali Road car market, pointed out that the involvement of open letter vehicles in such instances is a matter of concern for original owners.


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He explained that because the open letter is an unreliable document, it becomes challenging for original vehicle owners to prove themselves innocent in such sensitive situations.

Director Sajjad advised the public to avoid selling, buying, or owning vehicles on open letters. He also suggested that the public should verify whether or not the vehicles that they’ve sold have been transferred to the subsequent buyer via the E&T website.

He added that his department is actively working on enforcing the biometric verification system to curb the open-letter culture.

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