Pass in the Spīn Ghār (Safīd Kūh) Range on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. About 33 mi (53 km) long, it has historically been the gateway for invasions of the Indian subcontinent from the northwest; it was traversed by Persians, Greeks, Mughals, and Afghans from the north and by the British from the south. The Pashtun Afridi people of the Khyber area long resisted foreign control, but during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1879, the Khyber tribes came under British rule. It is now controlled by Pakistan.
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Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location. The summit of the Khyber Pass is 5 km 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.
From Dakka, the Kabul River flows to Peshawar through the Loe Shilman Gorge, a less direct and more difficult route to travel, chosen by Alexander the Great when he crossed into South Asia in 326 BC in an attempt to conquer the Indus Valley.
To the north of the Khyber Pass lies the country of the Mullagoris. To the south is Afridi Tirah, while the inhabitants of villages in the Pass itself are Afridi clansmen. Throughout the centuries the Pashtun clans, particularly the Afridis and the Afghan Shinwaris, have regarded the Pass as their own preserve and have levied a toll on travellers for safe conduct. Since this has long been their main source of income, resistance to challenges to the Shinwaris' authority has often been fierce.
The pass became widely known to thousands of Westerners and Japanese who traveled it in the days of the Hippie trail, taking a public or private bus or car from Kabul or the Afghan border, on the Pakistani side. People were advised not to wander away from the road; a quick daylight passage was then made. Monuments left by British Army units, as well as hillside forts, could be viewed from the highway.
The area of the Khyber Pass has been connected with a counterfeit arms industry, making AK-47s and Martini-Henry rifles, among others including pistols and submachine guns using local steel and blacksmiths' forges.
Torkham Gate is a major trade route between Pakistan and Afghanistan.