A Walk in the remote Afghan Pamir
Often considered the most remote part of Afghanistan, high mountains did not shield the Afghan Pamir from the effects of war and global circulation. Situated at a unique crossroads at the northwestern end of the Himalaya, high peaks throne over two large valleys lying over 4300 meters above mean sea level. Both on the periphery of contemporary religious, cultural and political domains as well as on the pathways of ancient trading routes, their particular location opens a variety of complex exchanges. Afghan Kyrgyz and Wakhi have successfuly negotiated this ever-changing and difficult geopolitical settings. In adapting a high-risk, high-reward pastoral existence necessary for survival, they have constantly reconfigured their relationship with dominant powers. Their resilience in the face of external change can be attributed to their extensive knowledge of the Pamirs' environment, the subtle deployment of regional networks, and the shifting use of existing pathways for local, regional and international trade.
Recently, the borders of Pakistan were closed, an important political leader died, members of religious movements came for the first time, the entire Wakhan district was settled as a National Park and convoys of humanitarian aid eventually distributed stocks of provision from the Kyrgyz Republic after years of wait. Afghan Kyrgyz and Wakhi lifes are on the verge of yet another phase of entanglements with the world.