Forbidden Tajikistan And The Pamir Highway
The Kognistani Badakhshan region, commonly called the GBAO district (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region after its Soviet era name), is an autonomous region in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population.
The Pamir highway is a road that traverses the Pamir Mountains through Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Originally a northern segment of the Silk Road trading route, the Pamir Highway has been in use for almost 2000 years. Today it is the only continuous route through the difficult terrain of the mountains and serves as the main supply route to Tajikistan's GBAO region. The highway follows the Pyanj river from Dushanbe to Osh, through valleys and gorges, the scenery changing constantly from swelling rivers and gushing streams to lush green plains and arid deserts as the greenery disappears with altitude.
People, both locals and vistiors, have been kept away from the region for many years by the Soviets and a brutal civil war in the 1990s. Restrictions on visiting the area are subject to frequent changes with tension in the region between the Afghan, Kyrgyz and Pamiry minorities wanting seperate rule from the rest of the country and not supporting the President, Emomalii Rahmon who has been in power since 1994.