09 March, 2021

Straying In Pakistan, Every Week

Dead thrills; The fat lady swings; Goodwill OD; Basic intelligence

Pradeep Mandhani
Straying In Pakistan, Every Week
Dead Thrills
It would have gone with the spirit of the place had the Pakistan Cricket Board put a board outside the Arbab Niaz stadium in the historic but impoverished Peshawar—"Leave cola bottles and guns outside." Man is closest to arms in Peshawar though it's true that not everyone has a gun here. There are government-approved shops in the city that sell shotguns for 9,000 to 12,000 Pakistani rupees, about half as much as the American originals that have been efficiently duplicated by a largely unorganised workforce in the neighbouring villages. Beyond Peshawar, in a tribal belt called Darra Adam Khel, some ageless arms factories have survived forced closure. There was a time when an AK-47—more fondly referred to as Kalashnikovs in these parts—used to go for 7,000 Pakistani rupees. Anything from pump action shotguns to rocket launchers used to be available to interested civilians with free home delivery for big clients.

There is talk that the arms bazaar in the tribal villages near Peshawar is still alive and well. Several who hail from these villages and...

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