Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Gun Culture In Pakistan

From an editorial in The Pakistan Observer:

A BAG full of sophisticated weapons was found from a lawn of the Punjab University on Sunday. According to police, the bag containing five Klashnikovs, 12 hand grenades and 1100 rounds, was spotted by one of the gardeners of the university.
Only in the writer's deluded mind can Klashnikovs, which are made virtually everywhere, including Pakistan, be considered "sophisticated" weapons. But, then again, the whole editorial, the editorial board and the newspapers jingoistic owners are all deluded to begin with. Here'are some more delusions:
One of the main causes of the lawlessness and rising rate of crimes in the country is easy and free availability of weapons of all sorts. It is known to every body that almost every house in the tribal area is a gun-manufacturing unit and weapons produced there proliferate in each and every part of the country.
It's just not in tribal areas where guns proliferate. Like the editorial states, the gun culture dominates almost every corner of Pakistan. But this isn't some new phenomenon, but something that predates Pakistan itself. No where is the gun culture more revered, and rife, than in the NWFP, specifically the city of Peshawar, near the border with Afghanistan.

The city is filled with bazaars selling all types of weapons conceivable, from homemade shotguns to cheap copies of Klashnikovs, like those found on the grounds of Punjab University. No one gives them any mind, of course. Here any terrorist group, domestic or foreign, can buy what they need without gaining any attention whatsoever. My guess is the culprits are somewhere there, if Pakistan can find them.