Haunted by militancy, Pakistani town welcomes library built above gun market

The Pakistani town of Darra Adam Khel is home to a 150-year-old arms market with more than 2,000 shops displaying firearms.

Located around 40 kilometers south of Peshawar, the town was for decades a no-man’s land. However, in 2009 the military took over the valley from militants and restored law and order, allowing it to have an economy driven by the same decades-long practice; the manufacturing and selling of firearms.

The town’s main square features the statue of Ajab Khan Afridi, a revered warrior in the region who is believed to have stood up to the mistreatment of women by British occupying forces in 1923.

But despite being synonymous with a hostile history and illegal firearm businesses, the town has now become home to a library that has opened right above the weapons market.

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