A forgotten piece of Afghan land

Contrary to what many may think, Afghanistan is not merely a dry and desolate place.

Many mountains here have snow, lakes, and valleys in addition to the dry areas.

Cultivation is not always easy, but Afghanistan is famous for producing pomegranates, almonds, and poppy—it is the world’s largest producer of opium.

If you look at a map of the country, a thin stretch of land in the northeast reaches out into the Hindu Kush mountains.

The story of how and why this land belongs to Afghanistan goes back to the 1800s.

Britain and Russia were the two giant empires trying to control much of Asia at the time.

The British had control of the southern Asian lands while the Russians had most of Central Asia. Officially, the British controlled Afghanistan.

However, they never occupied it because they wanted it to act as a buffer between the two empires.

Both empires drew lines, marking out where their empires ended, and this little portion of land (now known as the Wakhan Corridor) was part of neither.

Today, the Wakhan Corridor has greater geo-political significance for this landlocked country because there is a 20-mile border with China at its very end.