Darra Adam Khel
Darra Adam Khel
درہ آدم خیل
|District||Frontier Region Kohat|
|Time zone||UTC+5 (Pakistan Standard Time)|
Darra Adam Khel (Pashto: درہ آدم خیل) is a town in Kohat Subdivision, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Formerly a part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), it has gained fame and notoriety for its bazaars packed with gunsmiths and weapons merchants. The town consists of one main street lined with multiple shops, while side-alleys and streets contain workshops.
The town is mostly inhabited by ethnic Pashtuns belonging to the Afridi tribe. Darra Adam Khel was the hometown of Ajab Khan Afridi, an Indian-Pakistani freedom fighter who sought to free the Indian subcontinent from the rule of the British during the era of the British Raj.
A wide variety of firearms are produced in the town, ranging from anti-aircraft guns to pen guns. Weapons are handmade by individual craftsmen using traditional manufacturing techniques, which are usually handed down from father-to-son. Guns are regularly tested by test-firing into the air. Darra is controlled by the local tribesmen. The town certain special laws as compared to rest of Pakistan. Most of the people here make or sell just one thing, i.e., guns, while the second largest business of the inhabitants is transport. Manufacturing of heavy ammunition, however, has been closed down.
Tourism is not advisable because tribal police (Khasadar) visit the market to check for any local rules and law violation. Foreigners without permits are taken to secure places to avoid any mishaps.
The Darra arms trade first fired up in 1897 and became popular with the Adam Khel Afridis.
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. Suroosh Alvi of Vice Media also entered the market-town in 2006 for a segment of Vice Guide to Travel.
There is huge potential for tourism in the areas because its home to some of the best scenic views in the regions. Its moderate weather and tracking terrains in Toor Chapper, Lal Shah Baba, Toor Kamal Baba, Sani Khel, Bosti Khel, Aam Kammi tops, and Zoor Akhwar coal mines provide opportunities for outsiders to explore the area and its ways of culture and tradition.
- Firearms Stalls Line The Streets Of Pakistan Town
- Mohsin Jamil Baig (2003). "Governor urges tribesmen to purge outlaws from FATA". OnlineNews.com.pk. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "VBS TV: "Gun Markets of Pakistan": Where the Taliban Goes Shopping (+ Slideshow)". www.vice.com. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
- 'Tribesmen Rally to the Gun', Observer article September 23, 2001
- Information about Darra Adam Khel, with images 2005
- Photo gallery
- Pakistan's flourishing arms bazar BBC News 21 June 2006
- Travel account, with images August–September 1992
- Like the Wild, Wild West. Plus Al-Qaeda. The Washington Post March 30, 2008
- Son of a Lion official website 2008
- 2007 video of Darra, from VBS.TV
- Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Pakistan