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Khyber Pass

Khyber 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 quite adventurous.

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.

At Present
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.

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