Smugglers' Bazaar II

Smugglers' Bazaar
PESHAWAR, Pakistan
January 20, 2011

Emma and I went out to the Smugglers' Bazaar yesterday afternoon. It was her first time browsing through the stalls offering products looted from NATO shipments. As with last month, I concentrated my purchases mostly on American junk food:

David Inspects Boots
and Gas Mask

This time I paid more attention to the materiel on offer. I paid 65 rupees for a thermal infusor that plugs into an electrical socket to boil up a cup of water. That could be useful for making tea somewhere further down the road on this trip. Lying in front of another stall, one cardboard box among many held file folders of personnel information. The few folders I flipped through didn't look like terribly high-level information. The name of a (presumably) deployed soldier was written on each folder's tab. Inside were forms: lists checking off which gear had been issued to that particular soldier and other boring paperwork.

I was more intrigued by a folding chart and glossy color publication, the "Counter-Sniper Pocket Guide". I paid ten rupees for the fold-up manual. It's largest type proclaimed:

Do not forget that the best way to stop the SNIPER is to KILL THE SNIPER!

Let them escape and they will attack someone else, somewhere else.

But for the subject matter, each section of the leaflet could have been drawn from a corporate business presentation. Next to the large type was a flow chart of words in circles feeding into each other ending in an arrow that looped back to the first circle:

Observe => Orient => Decide => Act ↵

Slice the Pie. Kill the Sniper!
A small patch underneath the heading "REPORTING" was kept blank except for six ruled lines, each terminating in the acronym "S.A.L.U.T.E.": S-Size, A-Activity, L-Location, U-Unit/Uniform, T-Time and Date, E-Equipment

Under the heading "Locating Sniper Positions 'Slice the Pie'" were diagrams of circles and triangles with semi-shaded areas that looked more like expense graphs than instructions for an infantryman.

After we'd each loaded up on ample booty, Emma and I hopped on a city bus to Islamia College to meet Irina after her Pashto class. The three of us finished our evening by educating ourselves in the art of the counter-snipe--followed by a bowl of peach-flavored tobacco at a nearby shishah lounge.