Pass has always been important due to its strategic location. It has been an
important link between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout history it has
been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia. It is one
of the most important mountain passes in the history. Crossing the Khyber is
Khyber Pass is a narrow, steep-sided pass, located between Afghanistan and
Pakistan. The routes through it link the cities of Peshawar in Pakistan and
Kabul in Afghanistan. It is located at 1070 metres elevation, where the
Khyber River (Khyber Khwar) leaves the pass to the south. A railroad which
passes through 34 tunnels and over 92 bridges and culverts, runs to the
Afghan border. The route passes Fort Maude and Ali Masjid to reach the
narrowest point of the pass.
Khyber Pass was a site of military importance sine the ancient times.
Armies of Alexander the Great, Timur, Babur, Mahmud of Ghazni, and Nadir
Shah used Khyber as a channel for their invasions in India. Genghis Khan,
another famous conquerer of the history took Afghanistan but he decided not
to move towards India.
It has also been mentioned in the ancient history that Indo-Aryans migrated
first to India thgrough Khyber Pass. The pass also important in the Afghan
Wars fought by the British in the 19th cent during 1839-42, 1878-80, and
1919 wars. That is why George Molesworth, once said, "Every stone in
the Khaibar has been soaked in blood."
To the north of the Khyber Pass lies the country of the Mullagori Afridis
lies in the north of the Khyber Pass. To the north of the Khyber Pass lies
the country of the Mullagori Afridis lies to the north of the Khyber Pass.
Inhabitants of villages in the pass are Afridi clansmen. Pashtun clans,
particularly the Afridis and the Afghan Shinwaris, have regarded the Pass as
their own preserve and have levied a toll on travelers for safe conduct.
Pakistan controls the khyber Pass now a days. At present two highways
thread their way through the Khyber Pass-one for motor traffic, and one for
the traditional caravans. A railway line also travels to the head of the
pass. Recently, the Khyber Pass has been used to transport refugees from the
Afghan civil war into Pakistan, and transport arms into Afghanistan. The
highway over the Khyber Pass links Kabul to Peshawar. Villages lie on each
side of the Khyber Pass. The people of the Khyber Pass are mainly Pashtuns.