Pak`s `American Market`; guns and grenades on sale

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 18:16

Peshawar: If you think getting the latest
guns, grenades and night vision goggles in Pakistan was
difficult, you might be mistaken.

One can buy all these along with laptops at knockdown
prices at the `American market` in Pakistan`s north-western
Peshawar city.

"Most of the arms here will end up with the Taliban. Some
people come to buy these weapons for themselves but mostly
they are bought by militants," a laptop dealer in the
`American market` was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune
daily.

He explains that the area has come to be known as the
American Market because it sells US goods that have either
been stolen and transported from Afghanistan or captured from
NATO trucks going to the war-torn country via Pakistan.

While everything from scanned goods to electronic
equipment is available at the American Market, the majority of
the items on sale are weapons.

"The laptop dealer says the American Market is only the
third largest of its kind in Pakistan, and similar markets in
Bara, Jamrud and Dara Adam Khel offer a greater variety of
weapons, although he adds that there has been an army
clampdown in Dara Adam Khel," the report said.

Despite the abundance of arms available in these markets,
this is only the tip of the iceberg for the Taliban.

The daily quoted experts as saying that Taliban also get
their weapons from smuggling networks that originate from
Russia.

An expert said the once deadly LTTE also provided arms to
the Taliban.

The US, meanwhile, believes that the Taliban may be
getting weaponry from Iran, the daily said.

Militant safe houses raided in the tribal areas have
revealed the presence of Iranian-made AK-47s but it is not
known if these have been smuggled out of Iran or provided by
the government of Iran.

Taliban videos posted on jihadi websites, meanwhile, show
them carrying Chinese anti-aircraft missiles which, most
arms-control experts believe, have come through the
international smuggling network and not from the Chinese
government, it said.

Ultimately, the greatest provider though inadvertently
of weaponry to the Taliban based in Afghanistan may be its
greatest target, the US.

As the laptop dealer at the American Market in Peshawar
says, "The US gives weapons to people in Afghanistan to fight
the Taliban and they just go and sell it to people here who
then sell it to the Taliban."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 18:16

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