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Gun workshop.


Darra Adam Khel (Urdu/ ) is a town in the North-West Frontier Provincemarker of Pakistanmarker, located between Peshawarmarker and Kohatmarker, very close to the Federally Administered Tribal Areasmarker. It is inhabited by Pashtuns of the Afridi clan, the Adam Khel. The town consists of one main street lined with shops, with some alleys and side streets containing workshops.

Economy

Darra Adam Khel is devoted entirely to the production of ordnance. Located in between Kohat and Peshawar, a wide variety of firearms are produced in the town, from anti-aircraft guns to pen-guns. Weapons are handmade by individual craftsmen using traditional manufacturing techniques, usually handed down father-to-son. The quality of the guns is generally high and craftsman are able to produce replicas of almost any gun. Guns are regularly tested by test-firing into the air. Darra is controlled by the local tribesmen.



Tourism

Foreigners were once allowed to visit the town if they had a permit, obtainable from the Home Office in Peshawar (permits are no longer issued due to 'security concerns', however it is possible to take the Peshawar-Kohat bus and get off at the town, which will usually also involve being sent back by the local tribal police called 'khasadars'). Some 'fixers' in Peshawar offer to arrange a visit for a considerable sum. In this case a bodyguard will accompany visitors whilst they are in the town, and it may be possible to test-fire weapons for a small fee. Technically visitors can buy guns, though they will usually be confiscated by guards as the sellers inform them. Difficulties can only sometimes be avoided by judicious use of 'baksheesh' (bribes). As of early 2008 Darra Adam Khel has been the site of skirmishes between militants and the army, making visits by Westerners highly dangerous endeavors.

Michael Palin visited the town as part of his Himalaya television series, as did Ethan Casey in his travel book Alive and Well in Pakistan while Australian film director Benjamin Gilmour's feature drama Son of a Lion set in Darra Adam Khel premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival 2008.

References

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