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Photographer's Note

A back street in Darra Adam Khel Bazar. Each door opens on a small work room where weapon spare parts are hand made. each store is specialized in its own spare parts. Sometime you see a man coming out of one with a newly completed Kalashnikov in hand and test it, shooting a few bullets toward the sky.

Darra Adam Khel, part of Khyber Agency - FATA, is very famous for its skilled gunsmith, capable to reproduce any kind of gun. Until 9/11, one could test all kind of weapons. From a simple colt 45 to rocket launcher or DCA. Since then, only a colt 45, AK 47 and a shot gun (Beretta if memory serves me) are allowed to be made, and tested by tourists who used to come as a day trip, visiting the factories and shooting a bit. Unfortunately, due to Afghan crisis, permits are not given anymore as the place is said to be less safe for foreigners now (well... I've always heard that since the very first time I visited Pakistan in 2002...).

I like this place a lot. People are very nice. I went there 3 times in a short period. First time I was just a simple tourist visiting the factories, third time I was greeted like a returning brother. Even one policeman offered me a piece of hash for smoking in a nearby workroom while my travel mates where having their AK shoot. Haha !

I Love Pakistan...

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