AFGHANISTAN

As  an offshoot of our projected visit  to the Asia Pacific Publishers Association General Assembly  on February 27-March 2, 2005 in Islamabad, Pakistan, I, Ogie and Tan Wu Cheng of the Singapore Book Publishers Association  had the privilege and opportunity to visit  Khyber Pass through the kindness of Muhammad Aslam Rao of the Pakistan Book Council.

We rode in two jeeps  accompanied by five armed men at the back compartment of each jeep.

The Khyber Pass  is a mountain pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The summit is 5 kilometers inside Pakistan  at Landi Kotal and it cuts through the northeastern part of the Safed Koh mountains which themselves are a far southeastern extension of the Hindu Kush range.

The following are names of famous Generals that have crossed the Khyber Pass mostly in conquest of India except  for Chandragupta Maurya, King of the Mauryan Empire and Ranjit Singh, emperor of the Sikhs. Chandragupta Maurya seized power, drove Alexander’s successors out of India, and ruled from the Khyber to Bengal.

  • Chandragupta Maurya
  • Achaemenid Empire
  • Alexander the Great
  • Mahmud Ghazni
  • Muhammad Ghori
  • Genghis Khan
  • Qutlugh Khwaja
  • Timur Lane
  • Ranjit Singh
  • Zahir ud-Din Muhammad Babur
  • Humayun
  • Shah Jahan
  • Nader Shah Afshar
  • Ahmed Shah Abdali

Although all these great people passed through this Pass, only the infrastructure laid down by  Timur Lane survived the test of time.

Khyber Pass particularly at Safed Koh is the area I have travelled  which is nearest Afghanistan. I had been trying to reach Afghanistan over the years but there simply was no way for me to be allowed entry.

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