Kevin Swains
Travel Website
This is Kev's Travel Blog

 Dara Adem Khel part 1


I remember some 20 or so years ago I was watching a travel program somewhere in the world of which I had no idea where. The presenter was in this kind of alleyway which was lined with shed like structures. He walked along the alley way pushing open the doors to the sheds as he went and the camera stuck its lens in for a peek. I sat there with my mouth open not believing what I was seeing.
In each cramped workshop men tinkered with basic tools making replica guns of all descriptions, each workshop being a specialist in one part of the manufacturing process.
On my first visit to Pakistan I heard about Dara and couldn't believe my luck and set out for a visit and it surpassed my expectations. I'm here again and just have to see it once more just for the hell of it.


Dara Main Street 
Dara main street. Looks like almost any othe street?

Dara is in tribal country so a permit is required to visit it but these haven't been issued for many many years. But a few have been issued lately and I'm lucky enough to get one. The guy incharge of issuing them is a complete tosser and talks constantly of sex and travelers rekon he is issuing permits to increase his chance of getting laid. On leaving his office he gives me his e-mail address to forward to any single mothers or preferably a virgin who might want to chat via web cam.....
Anyway....I played the game and got the permet and set off.

Dara Gun Shop 
One af the many gunshops.

The driver of the bus missed the turn off and dropped me at the far end of the town. I climbed out, jumped over the gaurd rail and down an enbankment into the town. A round fired out from a machine thats not an everyday sound!
A local greeted me and took me to a policeman where I showed him my permit. I was stood next to a glass cabinet full of hasheesh:)
The policeman took me to a shop where I stayed a few minutes waiting for my English speaking police guide to arrive. When he arrived he took me for a chai. He was a very pleasant guy but he's actually softening me up because he wants me to fire his Kalashnakov so he can make a few Rupees:)


Dara Back Street 
A typical Dara back street scene. Each room hides a gun workshop.

The tour starts in the shops adjoing the chai shop. It really is an sureal place. An old Afgani looking guy sits in the corner of a clustered bench doing what I'm not quite sure but parts of Kalashnakovs hang on the wall. It's same in all of the workshops.
In another, three guys work on basic lathes machining pistols. I can't see any jigs being used and they seem to be doing it freehand?

Dara Chraftsman
A craftsman at work.

High Teck Dara 
As high tech as it gets in Dara.