Afghanistan and Pakistan are both economically depressed, with a per capita GDP of roughly $3,500 and $1,000 respectively. Yet both of these nations have many well-armed men, at least relative to the typical Westerner. With money tight, infrastructure rare, and even literacy often lacking, where do the guns come from?
The answer: a small town called Darra Adam Khel.
Located in Pakistan south of Peshawar and near the Afghan border, Darra Adam Khel (or simply Darra, for short) is, as the Washington Post described it in a headline, "like the Wild, Wild West -- plus Al-Qaeda." The town is in one of a half-dozen frontier regions which are considered "Federally Administered Tribal Areas," or "FATAs." FATAs are exempt from many of the laws passed by the Pakistani government. Instead, Darra is administered by the Frontier Crimes Regulations, which, in turn, gives individual tribes in each area the power and responsibility to govern its people, and with wide discretion. In practice, this means that the town of Darra is outside the purview of Pakistan proper -- and its people take advantage of this.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Darra, The Pakistani Illegal Gun Market
This is an old story but well worth another look. Now I Know posted an article about this amazing place.