The Gun Markets of Pakistan

The Gun Markets of Pakistan

Craftsmen with simple hand tools manufacture weapons, from pistols to anti-aircraft firearms, for the Taliban. (VBS.TV)

In 2006, reporter Suroosh Alvi was able to travel to what is now the heart of Taliban tribal country in Pakistan with the help of family friends and their connections with the local militia. Known as the largest illegal arms market in the world, the men of the village of Darra Adam Khel, near Peshawar, manufacture an amazing array of firearms in primitive conditions, including knock-offs of Russian, Italian and U.S. automatic weapons. The essence of Darra philosophy is described as, “Many sons and lots of guns.”

This is an episode of the “Vice Guide to Travel” by VBS.TV. (“Correspondents are dispatched around the world to visit the planet’s most dangerous and weird destinations.”) It somehow makes mingling with gun-toting militants and the almost constant sound of gunfire seem like an amusing school field trip. After a travelogue-style interlude at the Khyber Pass, Alvi and his guide visit the cave-like rooms where grease-covered Darra gunsmiths turn out accurate reproductions of a plethora of evil-looking guns at a phenomenal rate. They then go shopping at one of the largest gun stores and try out their purchases from a roof — joyfully blasting away at the mountains.

The video picks up again in 2009, when Alvi returns to Pakistan to find the country far more culturally divided and “a powder keg ready to explode.” He is unable to go back to the tribal areas that are now a Taliban war zone and closed to outsiders.

Winner of a “People’s Voice” Webby Award in the News & Politics, Individual Episode section of the Online Film & Video category.


Length: 9:19

Host: Suroosh Alvi
Camera: Eddy Moretti
Producer: Jesse Pearson
Editor: Jake Burghart
Additional editors: Moss Levinston, Carlo Lavagna, Dan Perry

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  Posted by 3D Printed Guns - Page 6 on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 04:23 PST
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