• J. Scott Keltie
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Afghánistán is a country of Asia lying between parallels 29° and 38° 20’ of north latitude, and 61° and 72° of east longitude, with a long narrow strip extending to 75° east longitude (Wakhán). On the north-east, the boundary follows a line running generally westward from a fixed point near one of the peaks of the Sarikol Range to Lake Victoria, thence along the line of that branch of the Oxus which issues from the lake, and so, following the course of the Oxus, to Khamiab. From Khamiab, the line runs in a south-westerly direction to Zulfikár, on the river Harí-Rúd, and thence south to Koh-i-Malik Siah where the frontiers of Persia, Afghanistán and Baluchistan meet. Here the boundary turns round and runs generally eastwardly to the Khwája Amran range. The eastern and southern boundaries of Afghánistán long remained uncertain, but the basis of a delimitation was settled, in 1893, at a conference between the Amír, Abdur Rahmán, and Sir Mortimer Durand, and the boundary agreed upon, with the exception of the Khaibar-Asmar section, has since been demarcated. The Amir agreed that Chitral, Bajaur and Swát should be included within the British sphere of political influence, while he himself was to retain Asmar and the Kunar valley above it, as far as Arnawai, and the tract of Birmal, west of Wazíristán. In the subsequent demarcation, Káfiristán was included within the countries under Afghán control, and has since been partially garrisoned by the Amír’s troops. The Amír has withdrawn his pretensions over Wazíristán. The extreme breadth of Afghánistán from north to south is about 500 miles; its length from the Herát frontier to the Kháibar Pass, about 600 miles; the area is about 250,000 square miles. The surrounding countries are, on the north, the Central Asian States, under the influence of Russia; on the west, Persia, with which there was a dispute regarding rights to the Helmund river, presumably settled by Colonel MacMahon’s award, July, 1905; on the south, the British Political Agency of Baluchistán and the North-West Frontier Province; and on the east, the mountain tribes scattered along the north-western frontier of India, and included within the sphere of British influence.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1906

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  • J. Scott Keltie

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