PESHAWAR, May 22: Weapons manufacturers of Darra Adamkhel have sought permission for legal transportation of licensed arms from 3,000 units in the tribal area, sources say. The units, about 35km south of here, produce small and sophisticated weapons, including replicas of renowned models, old vintage weapons, antique and quality guns. These weapons may also attract foreign buyers, specially for sport guns and copies of vintage weapons.

“Despite the great potential the arms manufacturers of the tribal area are unable to transport their products even inside the country,” Gul Ahmad, a manufacturer said.

The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Development Authority (Smeda) was facilitating the arms manufacturers by arranging their meetings with officials but so far the efforts had yielded no results, he said.

A Smeda official said a the manufacturers had suggested setting up of offices at two entry points of the area during a meeting with the Kohat district administration, the Darra Adamkhel political administration and the authority. They said the offices should be manned by the departments concerned of the federal and the provincial government to check smuggling and collect revenue on the transportation of licensed weapons.

“The arms manufacturers of Dara Adamkhel have no objection on levy of taxes on legal transportation and they are ready to give assurance of not manufacturing prohibited weapons. They demand that no-objection certificates should be issued for supply of weapons to the local market,” the official said.

He said Smeda would take up the matter with the defence ministry to help provide raw material of better quality to the arms manufacturers. He said substandard raw material was used by gunsmiths in Dara Adamkhel.

He said Smeda was also facilitating the signing of an agreement of sub-contract between the defence ministry and the arms manufacturers. Under the agreement the manufacturers in the tribal area would prepare parts of the weapons, which would be assembled at the Pakistan Ordnance Factory.

A manufacturer said he and his colleagues received orders from Britain, the United States and Korea, particularly for old and 12-bore weapons. “I recently sent a consignment to London and was working on another one, but the government declined to give permission to us,” he said.—PPI

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