By Victoria Schofield
For hundreds of years, males have fought and died at the Afghan frontier -- American squaddies and the Taliban are in simple terms the most recent. because the gateway to India and the crossroads of vital Asia, Afghanistan has tempted the greed and starvation for energy of numerous invaders, from the Greek armies of Alexander the good to Brezhnev’s Soviet forces. shelter of spies and mountainous court docket of intrigue, this frontier international is without doubt one of the so much haunting and colossal battlefields in the world. This variation of Afghan Frontier incorporates a new afterword from the writer, finishing the gripping portrait of a sector that's as treacherous because it is fascinating.
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Additional info for Afghan Frontier: At the Crossroads of Conflict
Trapped in the Khurd Kabul pass just outside Kabul on their way to Jalalabad in mid-winter, the soldiers were an easy target for those on the hills: ‘This truly formidable defile is about five miles from end to end and is shut in on either hand by a line of lofty hills, between whose precipitous sides the sun at this season could dart but a momentary ray,’ wrote Vincent Eyre, one of the few survivors. In peacetime, only caravans of camels pass that way. ‘The kingdom of Kabul’ 55 When Babur was in Kabul, where he lies buried, he took a special interest in the produce of the country: ‘Fruits of hot and cold climates are to be had in the districts near the town.
The valley, pointing like a 50 Frontier Panorama finger towards Afghanistan, provides another passage to or from the west. Kurram is beautiful by all accounts, as Peter Mayne, a former RAF officer who came to revisit the Frontier in 1954, discovered: ‘Willow trees lined the streams that come tumbling down the hillsides to join the main body of the Kurram river. ’ The road climbs up-river; suddenly the vegetation stops and the traveller finds himself in ‘a wide plain, stone covered’. Beyond is the town of Parachinar and the peaks of the Sufed Koh rising ‘like a wall behind the town’.
Having resigned as chief of his tribe, Khushhal spent the rest of his life in open rebellion against the Moguls. Nearly three hundred years after Khushhal’s death, Olaf Caroe, a twentieth-century British political officer, went to visit his grave. He found it in a remote part of the country. ’ he asked the custodian. ’ It was not Mogul hooves which Khushhal need have feared, however, but Persian. The Moguls never reasserted their power in the northern Punjab or Afghanistan. Their weakness left the way open to further invaders from the west, notably Nadir Shah.
Afghan Frontier: At the Crossroads of Conflict by Victoria Schofield