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Published: October 13th 2006
Woke up early and headed to the passport office, to get permission to enter the tribal areas after being told no after waiting a good hour it was onwards to the Afghan embassy where it took us two hours to get visas even though the system was bloody confusing. After this it was off to the Kyhber pass agency were we were told that we did not need their permission as we would not be staying there and would rather need permission from the home office. After a stressfull time at the Home office and running several blocks to find a place for passport copies and also buying the officials a nice lunch we had our permission to enter the tribal areas. In celebration we went and bought burkas and kamizs along with some head scarves and other adornment from the old city bazaar. Dinner was once again in the balcony restuarant.
After sneaking past the rest of the sleeping troops we left the bunker early for breaki at a stands across the street. It was then off to Darra Adam Khel by the local bus. We get through with no problems and are
also not asked any questions, perhaps this is once again the fact that everyone has accepted me as a local and that I am apparently some sort of guide/interpreter. Once we arrive at the infamous weapons market/factory we are also not immediately accosted by any locals and wonder around to the various storefronts and workshops producing everything from simple revovlers and shotguns to fully automatic heavy machine guns. Eventually a local takes notice that we are definatley not supposed to be there and after attempting to find out our purpose by speaking to me he soon realizes that I too am just a stupid foreigner. Being invited for tea we sit and discuss the finer points of buying weapons in Pakistan. I try to bring across the point that I'm looking for a tank, after much persuasion and hinting that I have the financial backing I am seriously told by our host "Sorry we don't make tanks anymore...it's big problem when the tribles get tanks around here...." This is followed by myself nearly soiling my pants after an inquiring customer "test" fires an Ak-47 right outside the window next to me. Soon the conversation is back on topic with Ak-47's
being passed around and other novelties. We eventually come on an agreement to fire some of the locally made merchandise this comes with quips from our guard/guide "hehe we'll use some japanese as target practice..." After the last few days I wonder if he's actually serious or not. After several cups of local tea we visit some of the workshops were every aspect of weapons manufacturing takes place from bullets to casting all the way to the final paint job on the guns. States on these factories are about 4 days for one craftsman to make a pistol and around one week for an AK-47. Not only that these men pride themselves on the fact of being able to make near perfect copies of any gun that has ever been produced(as long as you bring a functioning original. This also explains the existense of mausers and desert eagles. Out on the targeting range (just behind the factories, the local hills/villages providing a background for our shooting) we have a selection of varying AK-47's, chinese made Pistols and a semi-automatic shotgun. This all work great with much emphasise being placed on the rapid fire/hip fire versatility of the Ak-47. There's also
a small crowd of children standin on side with cardboard boxes ready to catch any of the spent cartridges in order to sell them back to be reloaded. After this amazing experience we are escorted back to our bus and wave goodbye to our friendly hosts. We soon discover that the road back to Peshawar is spotted with roadblocks and our bus is stopped several times. We soon discover from one of our fellow passengers that the local police wanted to search us and the bus but since noone spoke english they just let us continue. We soon arrive back in Peshawar exhausted only to find that our permission for passing through the tribal areas had not been filled out properly and it was back to the Home office to have a new copy printed. Here we discover that they already knew of our trip to Darra Adam Khel and that it was them who apparently had told the police to leave us alone, this was quite amazing as from most things it seemed that the bearocratic communication within Pakistan was crawling if slow at best. After buying our friends at the home office another great lunch for looking out
Today is a special sale on all 9mm as well as 7.62 calibre
for us we went back to the hotel to sleep and relax while coming to terms with the fact that by this time tomorrow we would be in Kabul and most likely scared shitless.
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