A view from the Khyber Pass. Historically, this was an important trade route between what is now Pakistan and Afghanistan.

to the north. Afghanistan shares a very small border with Xinjiang, China, in its northeastern corner. The nation is known for its majestic mountain range, Hindu Kush, which effectively divides the country into three distinct regions: the northern plains, the central highlands, and the southwestern plateau region. The main Hindu Kush region lies along the country’s central highlands, characterized by narrow valleys surrounded by mountains. Some of the peaks are over 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) tall. These mountain passes are what make Afghanistan of such strategic importance. The famous Khyber Pass is located on the Pakistani border and is a fabled trade route to India. For centuries, the Khyber Pass has played a role in trade and in helping sustain the economic wealth of the region. It was once part of the ancient Silk Road trade route and still has socioeconomic importance today.


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