Pamir Mountains

views updated


afghan mountain range.

The Pamir mountains run north to south from Tajikistan to northern Pakistan, separating the Oxus drainage from the plains of Kashgar in China. In Afghanistan, the Pamirs extend through the Wakhan corridor, an area inhabited by Kirghiz nomads until the nomads were relocated to Turkey during the war of resistance (19781992). This area was annexed to Afghanistan in 1885 by the British, connecting Afghanistan to China so as to keep the British Empire of South Asia separate from the Russian Empire in Central Asia. Given their remote location and difficult terrain, the Pamir Mountains have been a choice place for hiding people or caches of weapons or other contraband. The area was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1980, then returned to Afghanistan when the Soviet Army withdrew a decade later. This corridor also provides a passage to China, albeit over a high and difficult terrain.

see also afghanistan: overview.


Dupress, Louis. Afghanistan. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980.

grant farr