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Old March 20th, 2016, 01:14 PM   #1
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Anyone ever shoot in rural Pakistan?

Hello community!

I will be shooting a feature length doc around the area of Sindh province, Pakistan this summer about educational opportunities for young girls who grow up there, and wanted to reach out to the community to see if anyone with experience shooting in the region could share any quick tips on safety. I have worked a lot in the Middle East and southern Africa, but never in Pakistan. Can anybody give a few comments or concerns about staying safe while shooting in rural Pakistan? Is it something anybody would recommend avoiding altogether? My team will have a location fixer who can hopefully keep us safe, but any additional comments with personal experience in mind would be tremendously appreciated.

Overall I believe that if we observe regular safety precautions we should be OK, but as this is new ground for me, I figured it couldn't hurt to check in.

A particular point of concern for me is that the director heading up this project is a woman that I will be working very closely with on the ground there, who I am not married to. I may be worrying to deeply about it, but I do wonder if this will make she and I less safe, since I know men and women are typically not seen together is communities that are extremely conservative. In extreme cases, I've heard of men and women being accused of adultery and put in prison, or even killed in such situations. While I know those are extremely rare and very far-fetched examples, I want to make sure all precautions are taken to ensure we have a pleasant and safe experience.

Thank you in advance!
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Old March 28th, 2016, 12:09 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone ever shoot in rural Pakistan?

Hi Omar..................

I apologize for not responding earlier but other duties and a belief that someone here would have much more up to date info than I would chime in.

It hasn't happened, so into deep water I shall go.

First, this one:

Quote:
I know those are extremely rare and very far-fetched examples, I want to make sure all precautions are taken to ensure we have a pleasant and safe experience.
Er, not as rare and as far fetched as you would think.

The North American press does a very good job of completely ignoring the every day in the region as it elicits total yawns from the populace, so no point highlighting the goings on in what is laughingly supposed to be a "Brother in Democracy" (try telling that to most of the citizens of Pakistan, ROFLH) .

That aside, you can get up to date info from your own State Department on specific problems in specific areas of Pakistan but do note, sporadic mayhem is endemic to the country, for reasons utterly bewildering to us westerners, and vast numbers of the citizens are armed to the hilt, everywhere.

Having a "fixer" in the mix is no guarantee of anything, unless he has to hand a substantial quantity of armed acolytes (aka THUGS) who are prepared to put themselves between you and a raging mob at the drop of a pin, which can happen in seconds, especially if you throw a female director into the mix.

The male Pakistani psyche is a pretty fragile little flower and any hint of a female being in charge is inviting outrage from every class in the country, hence why so many politicians are gunned down by their own bodyguards whenever they dare stick their head over the parapet to propose equal rights for either women or other religious sects.

In short, your entire project is decidedly dodgy (read: inadvisable) UNLESS you are guaranteed government protection at all times, and even that can be a double edged weapon, as their Government (troops/ police) treatment of their own citizens often verges on the utterly bizarre, and is most often totally obnoxious.

If you discuss this with your own State Department they MAY be able to arrange for Pakistani Government protection, but I would advise that as of my last visit (two decades ago, but nothing seems to have really changed) even a promise of same will NOT work with any schedule you may lay down, they do it in THEIR time, not yours.

Be advised also that in the event the shit does hit the fan, you may find yourselves on your own, the poorly paid and exceedingly badly led troops/ police having done a runner at the first shot - it happened to me more than once.

Luckily I had learnt, as a teenager, to shoot with the Lee Enfield .303 bolt action rifle, a scary weapon in the right hands and still much used on the sub continent.

You may ponder ordering your crew to get suitably qualified with the AR - 15, M - 16 ,and the ubiquitous AK - 47 automatic rifles and the the Glock 9 mm pistol, all more prevalent in Pakistan than Cheerios (I jest not, this is serious bandit country my friend, all of it) and which are readily available for use/ target training at gun clubs all over the USA.

Regards,


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; March 28th, 2016 at 02:53 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2016, 02:38 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone ever shoot in rural Pakistan?

Apologies, for reasons unknown a previous version of this got uploaded AFTER the final, how, I cannot fathom. It has been erased.


CS
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