Home-made guns vying for limelight with hi-tech arms

ABU DHABI — Home-made arms sharing space with those churned out by some of the most sophisticated, computerised manufacturing facilities?

By M.a. Qudoos (Deputy Bureau Chief)

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Published: Thu 22 Feb 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:34 AM

At Idex 2007, a Pakistani company is doing exactly that — displaying its home-made hunting and sporting arms.

The firm, Afridi Arms Pakistan, makes a large variety of arms and ammunition by hand, and with the help of small machines at homes, in the mountainous Darra Adam Khel in the NWFP province of Pakistan.

Awaz Khan, the company’s director, is thrilled by the response to his company’s products here. This is the first time Awaz is participating in the Idex. His stall at the Pakistan pavilion is pulling big crowds.

“We are in talks with some foreign buyers and hope that a deal will be finalised,” he told Khaleej Times yesterday.

Khan’s family has been in the business of arms manufacturing for 150 years. His hopes are especially high after Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf declared Darra Adam Khel an industry zone and earmarked Rs560 million for installation of the latest machinery for the production and testing of arms and spare parts.

Khan’s company is registered with the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (Depo) in Pakistan. The products of his company are first tested by Depo before being sent abroad to the buyers for approval.

His annual exports, so far to the US, the UK and Turkey, amount to half a million dollars. Khan said talks were going on with Nepal for an export deal. Domestic sales of his company’s products are made to licensed arms dealers.

Awaz said although he was making arms for a long period, he organised his business and set up Afridi Arms Pakistan when he took part in the IDEAS international defence exhibition in Karachi in 2000.

He has since continued participating in Ideas events and has also took part in exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Germany. He will be attending the forthcoming exhibition in Turkey and another in Germany.

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