Friday, September 18, 2009

Gun prices soar after election ...

... in Afghanistan:
The reliable measure of stability in many countries is the value of the currency or the price of equities, bread or fuel - but not in Afghanistan: here the key indicator that nearly every Afghan keeps tabs on is the price of a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. And the bad news is that the market is bullish. The stepped-up Taliban offensive and mounting discord over the outcome of last month's election have seen the price of a Chinese-made AK smuggled in from Pakistan rise to $400 from $150 in just three months. "People are arming themselves," a Western official in Kabul noted with alarm.

The surge in the Kalashnikov Index is likely to be sustained by the results of the Aug. 20 elections, widely perceived by Afghans, diplomats and foreign observers as marred by fraud. Fictitious polling booths were set up, and in some places, vote riggers were so brazen they did not even bother to remove the individual ballots from the booklets in which they were printed before marking them. ...

Article here. Evidently, the urge to arm oneself for self-protection from perceived or expected oppression knows no geographic boundaries.

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