Darra Adam Khel




Darra Adam Khel is a town in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan, located between Peshawar and Kohat, very close to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. It is inhabited by Pashtuns of the Afridi khel (clan). The town consists of one main street lined with shops, with some alleys and sidestreets containing workshops.

Darra Adam Khel is devoted entirely to the production of ordnance. 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 are generally high and craftsman are able to produce replicas of almost any gun. Guns are regularly tested by test-firing into the air.

How exactly Darra turned to producing weapons is unknown, though a popular explanation is that a Punjabi gunsmith on the run for murder brought his skills to the lawless frontier in the 1890s. The British turned a blind eye to the practice in return for a guarantee of safe passage in the area.

Foreigners are only allowed to visit the town if they have a permit, obtainable from government offices in Peshawar (permits are no longer issued, however it is possible to take the Peshawar-Kohat bus and get off at the town). A bodyguard usually accompanies visitors whilst they are in the town, and they are allowed to test-fire weapons for a small fee. Technically visitors can buy guns, though they will usually by confiscated by guards as the sellers inform them. Difficulties can be avoided by judicious use of baksheesh (bribes).

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.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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