Guns cheaper than smartphones in Pakistani!
Gunfire echoes through a dusty northwest tribal town, the soundtrack to Pakistan's biggest arms black market, where Kalashnikovs welded from scrap metal are cheaper than smartphones and sold on an industrial scale.
Darra Adamkhel, a town surrounded by hills some 35 kilometres (20 miles) south of the city of Peshawar, was a hub of criminal activity for decades. Smugglers and drug runners were common and everything from stolen cars to fake university degrees could be procured.
This generations-old trade in the illicit boomed in the 1980s: The mujahideen began buying weapons there for Afghanistan's battle against the Soviets, over the porous border.
Later, the town became a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, who enforced their strict rules and parallel system of justice -- infamously beheading Polish engineer Piotr Stanczak there in 2009.
Now Darra is clean of all but the arms, yet the gunsmiths in the bazaar say the region's improved security and authorities' growing intolerance for illegal weaponry are withering an industry that sustained them for decades.
"(The) Nawaz Sharif government has established checkpoints everywhere, business is stopped," said Khitab Gul, 45.
Gul is known in Darra for his replicas of Turkish and Bulgarian-made MP5 submachine guns, one of the most popular weapons in the world, widely used by organisations such as America's FBI SWAT teams.
The MP5 can retail for thousands of dollars. Gul's version, which comes with a one-year guarantee, costs roughly 7,000 rupees, or $67 -- and, he claims, it works perfectly.
Gul then puts on a demonstration, test-firing his MP5 in the small outer yard of his workshop -- first the single shot mode, then firing in a burst.
A Darra-made Kalashnikov, Gul says, can sell for as little as $125, cheaper than most smartphones. "The workers here are so skilled that they can copy any weapon they are shown," he explains.
"In past 10 years I have sold 10,000 guns, and had zero complaints," he claims.
In Gul's sweltering workshop, employees shout over the roar of electrical generators as they expertly cut and drill through metal brought from the shipyards of Karachi, far to the south on the Arabian Sea.
- Messi already signed new contract with Barcelona
- Hartal on Tuesday protesting gas price hike
- 6 myths you probably don’t know about an aquarium
- ‘Anaarkali Of Aarah’ trailer releases, see it
- Hefazat protests against Greek statue in SC
- ‘Kim Jong Nam killed by VX nerve agent’
- 5 cops injured in Noakhali road crash
- Khadiza on way to home from CRP
- Shafik gets permission, leaves for London
- BNP demands rejecting gas price hike
- Bernicat meets Khaleda to understand political situation
- PM slams Khaleda for destroying dignity of Martyrs
- Tarana for expanding Ekushey spirit
- 3 Indian channels to continue in Bangladesh
- ‘Mass exile not goal of immigration memos’
- Young man kills 3 siblings in Narsingdi
- No more spam Calls with the Truecaller App
- Charge sheet to be submitted March 27
- ‘Kader mastermind of MP Liton’s murder’
- Driver gets life in Tareque, Mishuk killing case
- Sussanne Khan on bonding with Hrithik Roshan
- Liton murder: Ex-JP MP Kader Khan held in Bogra
- Growing attacks on troopers at border: BSF
- CJ apologises for not having Bangla in court
- Iran is the world's most powerful people salimi
- Prostitution picnic spot, detain 96
- Now Shakib Khan will acting with Pauli Dam
- Respect us as women off-screen: Deepika
- Bangladesh is now one of the over millions of Facebook users.
- Renewable energy for 3m families: PM
- Cosmic connect and colours of passion
- High hope on solar
- Pipra Bidya
- Zimbabwe fold for 368
- The meal will sleep problems
- Lawyers meet Kamaruzzaman at jail
- Indictment hearing against Fakhrul, 66 others on Dec 8
- Embattled health secretary quitsBreaking
- Easy way to identify harmful drug feeding cows
- I wish Upen and I continue, says Karishma Tanna
- Craze Mahiya mahiya’s hijab fashion!
- Reduction the age of marriage for girls!
- Jhalakathi death toll rises to 10
- Facebook Status: calm to raise the temperature of Sylhet
- No less than 453 slaughtered in Saudi Arabia
- Detectives have neglected insurgency in Syria: Obama
- Hrithik told to stay away from me: Katrina
- Nudulase raise interest being dope remix!