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Beyond Khyber Pass

Lowell Thomas (Author)
Synopsis Often termed as the gateway to India, Afghanistan under Amir Amanullah Khan remained one of the most important countries on the earth and with the possible exception of Turkey, seemed to be more powerful than any other Mohammadan state. Geographically, it was landlocked by Baluchistan to the south; Waziristan, the north west frontier province of India, Swat, Chitral and Kashmir to the east; Turkistan to the north; and Persia to the west. Lying right at the cross-roads of Central Asia and controlling nearly all the important avenues of approach to India from the north and the west, Afghanistan belongs to the Hindu Kush mountain range. The door is the Khyber Pass, a strong fortified mountain gorge which was the exit for invaders of various hues into India. And after the wave of each fresh invasion of India subsided, the Afghans continued in possession of their territory. The Afghans held undisputed sovereignty over their country during the reign of Amir Amanullah Khan, except for the Khyber Pass and parts of Waziristan, which were occupied by a strong British army, and the narrow zone of democracies, ruled solely by a tribal council, between Afghanistan and the north-west frontier province of India. This book is the first hand account of a journey to Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, taken by the author himself through a natural geographical route covering Baluchistan, Waziristan, and the independent territory on the way to Peshawar and the Khyber Pass. The caravan-route between Peshawar and Kabul was found to be troublesome. The Amir is said to have spend vast sums on this route but the floods had destroyed all evidence of upkeep. The book describes each of the places beyond Khyber Pass upto the Kabul city including Jalalabad and also records the prevailing social conditions, customs and beliefs, position of women etc. A historical description of Afghanistan is a unique feature of this book. It highlights a few facts as they were tole to the author in Babar’s garden in the vicinity of Kabul by a wise old Afghan, Mirza Shahabuddin Khan who was related to the royal family of Khiva, about the unknown side of Afghanistan’s past. Since the author spent few days in Kabul as the guest of Amir, a description of Amir and his conduct in the state affairs has also been given. Amir Amanullah Khan was a great orator and more impressive in his diction. The book describes the whole journey as a fascinating and rewarding experience and of course the country i.e. Afghanistan as wholly eastern in character, lawless in many ways and untouched by civilization.
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Bibliographic information

Title Beyond Khyber Pass
Author Lowell Thomas
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8186505326
length 256p., 22cm.