Gun culture in Pakistan

Gun culture in Pakistan refers to the long-standing tradition of owning and carrying guns among Pathan men in the Northwest Frontier Province.Palin, Michael. 2005. "Himalaya". Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated. 288 pages. ISBN 0297843710.] The gun culture is linked to the "twin pillars of Pathan tribal society," "melmastia"—hospitality and "badal"—revenge. One of the centers of gun-manufacturing is the town of Darra Adam Khel, near Peshawar, which was historically known for manufacturing the Lee Enfield .303; however, the town now produces ordnance including the AK-47, the mini-Kalashnikov, and hand-held firearms, including the "James Bond pen" gun.

The North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is the smallest province of Pakistan with rugged and hilly terrain. Pashtun tribal feuds are common and guns are used both for protection and self-defense.

In the rural society Swat, the gun culture arose in part out of the traditional antagonism between a man and his "tarbur" (father's brother's son). According to Charles Lindholm: [Lindholm, Charles. 1979. "Contemporary Politics in a Tribal Society: Swat District, NWFP, Pakistan" "Asian Survey", 19(5):485-505.] cquote|The pervasive hostility between the sons of brothers led to the development of a network of alliances within every village that divided it across lineages into two approximately equal parties, called "dulla". Every man belonged to the "dulla" opposite that of his "tarbur". This division ramified throughout the (Swat) valley, so that all of the nearly one million inhabitants visualized themselves as members of one of two eternally warring parties.

Old customs and cultural norms also promote the gun culture. In NWFP, where the strong and tough Pashtuns reside, carrying a gun or a Klashinkov is a sign of honour and respect. A gun is also considered to be the jewel of a man in N.W.F.P., thus the social necessity emerging as an intimidating component of provincial culture.

Generally speaking owning firearms is illegal in Pakistan, though various tribal areas outside the reach of federal laws are able to bypass this restriction. Only on rare occasions can a firearm be privately owned.They would still require strict licensing.

In the last decade, gun culture has been linked with Islamist terrorism and drug trafficking [http://www.yespakistan.com/pakistanday/enhance_security.asp] , which has arisen due to the prevalence of militants in the North West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P.) of Pakistan.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.worldpress.org/cover1.htm Kalashnikov Culture Talking Tough on Guns in Pakistan]
*http://www.awc.com.pk/


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