The people of Peshawar. Visiting Peshawar Pakistan. Peshawar is ancient city whose history can be traced back 2500 years. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. Peshawar sits in a valley and is only 30 miles (50 km) from the Afghan border. In fact, the main ethnic group in the Peshawar region is the same majority ethnic group found in Afghanistan, the Pashtuns. Arguably the Pashtun people are artificially separated into two different countries when Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat, and Emir Khan, the Afghan leader, agreed to the creation of the Durand Line. The Durand Line served as the demarcation point between independent Afghanistan and the British Empire.
Since the 1980s, Peshawar became the nerve center for the anti-Soviet mujahideen forces battling the Soviet Union in nearby Afghanistan. And with that in minds, hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees streamed into Peshawar region to escape the ravages of the war. This trend has continued whether Afghan refugees were avoiding Taliban control of Afghanistan and the violence that followed after the US invasion after 9/11. Many Afghan refugees make their home in Peshawar today.
With the instability in Afghanistan and the porous border, Peshawar has been subject to numerous Taliban attacks. In 2010, there were over 100 terrorist attacks. In 2014, Peshawar was witness to a horrific terrorist attack at a school where 149 people were killed. The Pakistani government over the past decade has made a tremendous effort in wiping out these terrorist elements and bringing stability to the country.
While the government has made tremendous strides in bringing security to the nation, one might be a bit nervous when reading the US State Department’s Do Not Travel Advisory.
After speaking with Kausar Hussain, cofounder and guide for Untamed Borders, I made the short drive from Islamabad to Peshawar. I spent three nights in Peshawar and two full days roaming the old city. During my stay, I met some of the friendliest people; drinking tea, snapping photos, and exploring the ancient walled city. I could not square the circle of the Travel Advisory. The old city was a step back in time. I felt like it could have been 1819, not 2019. Time moved slowly here.
The people of Peshawar. Visiting Peshawar Pakistan.