By Victoria Schofield
For hundreds of years, males have fought and died at the Afghan frontier -- American infantrymen and the Taliban are basically the newest. because the gateway to India and the crossroads of primary Asia, Afghanistan has tempted the greed and starvation for strength of numerous invaders, from the Greek armies of Alexander the good to Brezhnev’s Soviet forces. shelter of spies and mountainous courtroom of intrigue, this frontier international is among the such a lot haunting and giant battlefields on the earth. This version of Afghan Frontier contains 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
The other part, known as the city, is the heart of hearts, the bazaar, a place of winding alleys and noise and intense aroma, nearly treeless, dense with shops, cyclists, horsedrawn tongas, carts pulled by water buffaloes and put-putting three-wheel taxis. In the 1980s it was jam-packed with travellers from Afghanistan, refugees and fighters. In spite of the girdle of mountains which surrounds the Peshawar valley, there are four natural points of entry through which an enemy might threaten the city.
The summer home of the Afridi tribesmen who inhabit Tirah is the Maidan Valley. Twelve miles long and half as wide, it is surrounded by mountains. Captain Shadwell, who was one of those who came fighting into Tirah in 1897, found that it was unlike any valley he had seen before. ‘When one talks of a valley, people who have not been in India, especially in the northern part of it, probably picture to themselves a valley such as one sees in England with the meadows gently sloping down to the river, which flows peacefully along in the centre.
Whereas the western Hindu Kush lies in Afghanistan to the north of Kabul, bordering Nuristan (formerly Kafiristan), the eastern mountains lie in Chitral where the highest, the Tirich Mir, stands at 25,263 feet. Further mountain ranges, the Karakorams in Kashmir and Tibet, the Himalayas in Nepal, bind the northern edge of the Indian sub-continent. And in spite of the high altitudes, the British sent agents and explorers like Younghusband to Chitral as well as to the states of Gilgit, Hunza and Kashmir, to keep an eye on the northern frontier, observe the channels of trade and compete with any Russian presence.