Spīn Ghar

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Spīn Ghar starting from Eastern Afghanistan to deep Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Spīn Ghar[1] (Pashto: سپين غر‎), "white mountain", also known as Safēd Kōh[2] (Persian/Urdu: سفید کوه), Speen Ghar, or the Indian Caucasus as late as the 19th century, and as the Morga Range,[3] is a mountain range in eastern Afghanistan, which expands into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is situated in the East of 'Dra Khebar', its highest peak, straight and rigid Mount Sikaram, towers above all surrounding hills to 4,761 m (15,620 ft) above mean sea level. The Kabul River cuts a narrow trough through the Spīn Ghar mountains to flow eastward into the Indus River; otherwise, the range connects directly with the Shandur Top offshoot of the Hindu Kush mountain system.[3]

The Khyber Pass crosses a spur of the Spīn Ghar; the second crossing, near Mount Sikaram, is called Piewar-Kotal or Gawi Pass, which connects Parachinar city in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with the Aryob Valley of Paktia, Afghanistan. From the highest peak Mount Sikaram (Sikaram Sar) towards eastward, it passes on the north of Piewar, Alizai, Tari Mangal, Khewas, Shilawzan, Luqman Khel, Maikay, Chappri Rest House, Zeran, Parachamkani and Upper Khyber Agency; the closest cities to the Spīn Ghar are Jalalabad to the north, Gardez to the west, and Parachinar and Khost to the south.

Above the nearly barren lower slopes, forests of pine and deodar cedar thrived on the main range, but devastation during the Afghan civil war reduced timber resources; the valleys still support some agriculture.

According to US military intelligence, many al-Qaeda fighters, including Osama Bin Laden, crossed the Spīn Ghar to escape to Pakistan during the Tora Bora offensive in 2001. After 2004, the Spīn Ghar mountain range was a pivotal place and theater of many battles fought between the foreign fighters of al-Qaeda and the joint Nortern Command of the Pakistani military, with the latter trying to prevent the foreign fighters' incursion into Pakistan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - GeoNames Search - Site Internet: http://geonames.nga.mil/namesgaz/
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Safed Koh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 994–995.
  3. ^ a b Safīd Mountain Range in Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009

Coordinates: 33°58′N 70°22′E / 33.967°N 70.367°E / 33.967; 70.367