ISAF arms find way to Pakistani black market
Despite their high prices, M-16 assault rifles and Berettas -- standard weapons for the US army -- are selling like hot cakes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
“I personally don’t like M-16 assault rifles. They are too complex and have too many small parts; the AK-47 is simple to use, easy to clean and withstands all conditions,” one dealer told the daily.
The weapons, in high demand as they are, have become quite a status symbol for the country’s upper class, according to Siraj Afridi, who said the rich insisted on buying M-16s for their guards.
A Beretta 9mm is available for Rs1.5 lakh a piece an M-16 rifle for Rs5 lakh. The dealer explained: “People only buy an M-16 only if it is a military gun taken from the US Army.”
Beretta handguns are manufactured in Italy but used by the US. Yousaf Afridi, another arms dealer, estimated thousands of M-16s and Berettas had been smuggled into Pakistan.
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