Click for more information about Federally Administered Tribal Areas
2012 Apr by Veikko Huhtala*
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)is located just on the border of Afghanistan. Peshawar is an administered center of FATA, but it is separeted some kilometers by North West Frontier. We stayed one night in Peshawar Pearl Continental Hotel, where suicide bomber attacked two years earlier and destroyed half of the hotel and killed a lot of hotel customers.|
Next day in the morning we asked a taxi driver to drive us to Torkham, where Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan is located, but some kilometers before there was police checkpoint and they told us that tourists are not allowed to go there. so we had to turn and drive back to Peshawar.
1988 Nov by Jorge Sanchez
I arrived to Peshawar with the intention to cross to Jalalabad, in the times when the Soviet Union soldiers were in Afghanistan (November 1988).|
I took a truck to the border, to Torkham. We passed the mythical Khyber Pass. There were three military controls but nobody noticed that I was a foreigner, since my hair was black, and my dresses and aspect looked like an Afghan or Pakistani.
After Landi Kotal I Reached Torkham. Several people, discovering that I was a westerner, and calling me “ingris” (English) asked me:
- Do you want Opium, ingris?
- Do you want weapons, ingris?
- What business are you looking for, ingris?
Everybody carried Kalashnikovs and knives, Pakistani and Afghan mujahidins. There was war in Afghanistan.
I tried to cross to Jalalabad because my traveler Chinese hero, Xuanzang (also known by Hiuen Tsang), visited that place in the VII century. There was a truck going there, which I boarded, but at the border the Pakistani soldiers discovered that I was a foreigner and made me disembark from the truck.
It was a pity. I had Afghanistan at only 50 meters, and Jalalabad city at only 100 and so kilometers; I could see the Afghan and Russian soldiers at the other side of the border.
The Pakistani soldiers were very nice with me. I was reprimanded, but in good manners, and sent back to Peshawar, for free, in a military truck.
I could not get to Jalalabad but, anyway, I was satisfied. Having crossed the Khyber Pass (round trip, two times!) in the middle of the Silk Road, as did Cyrus the Great, Alexander of Macedonia, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Babur… was more than enough reward for my risky adventure.
Back in Peshawar I traveled to the Swat Valley, Chitral, Kafiristan, and finally entered Afghanistan through the Hindu Kush.