The same principle of maintaining an intervening width of neutral territory between the two countries is definitely established throughout the eastern borders of Afghanistan, along the full length of which a definite boundary has been demarcated to the point where it touches the northern limits of Baluchistan on the Gomal river.
From the Gomal Baluchistan itself becomes an intervening state between British India and Afghanistan, and the dividing line between Baluchistan and Afghanistan is laid down with all the precision employed on the more northerly sections of the demarcation.
Now they form an official province of British Baluchistan within the Baluchistan Agency; and the agency extends from the Gomal to the Arabian Sea and the Persian frontier.
GOMAL, or Gumal, the name of a river of Afghanistan, and of a mountain pass on the Dera Ismail Khan border of the NorthWest Frontier Province of British India.
The Gomal river, one of the most important rivers in Afghanistan, rises in the unexplored regions to the south-east of Ghazni.
Within the limits of British territory the Gomal forms the boundary between the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan, and more or less between the Pathan and Baluch races.
The Gomal pass is the most important pass on the Indian frontier between the Khyber and the Bolan.
It connects Dera Ismail Khan with the Gomal valley in Afghanistan, and has formed for centuries the outlet for the povindah trade.
Until the year 1889 this pass was almost unknown to the AngloIndian official; but in that year the government of India decided that, in order to maintain the safety of the railway as well as to perfect communication between Quetta and the Punjab, the Zhob valley should, like the Bori valley, be brought under British protection and control, and the Gomal pass should be opened.
After the Waziristan expedition of 1894 Wana was occupied by British troops in order to dominate the Gomal and Waziristan; but on the formation of the North-West Frontier Province in 1901 it was decided to replace these troops by the South Waziristan militia, who now secure the safety of the pass.
Angle of an irregular trapezium of land which lay between the rivers Husur (Khausar, Choser) on the N.W., Gomal on the N.E.
And the river Gomal at their base.
South of the Kurram is the Tochi valley, separating it from Waziristan, an isolated mountainous district bounded on the south by the Gomal and the gorges that lead to the Wana plain.
South of the Gomal the Suliman Range culminates in the famous Takht-iSuliman in the Largha Sherani country, a political dependency of Dera Ismail Khan district.
The Suliman system lies south of the Gomal unconnected with the northern hills.
The Gomal river drains a large area of central Afghanistan and forms the most important povindah (or Kafila) route on the frontier.
The purpose of the change was to subject all the independent tribes from Chitral to the Gomal Pass to the control of a single hand, and to ensure a firm and continuous policy in their management.
The military cantonments and posts in Malakand, Dir, Swat and Chitral were also enumerated, as were those in the Tochi Valley (the Northern Waziristan Agency) and in the Gomal (the Southern Waziristan Agency), the former figures being included in the census returns of Bannu district, and those of the latter in the returns of Dera Ismail Khan.
Crossing these again, it is continued on the west of Waziristan, finally striking the Gomal river at Domandi.
South of the Gomal it separates the interests of Afghanistan from those of Baluchistan, which here adjoins the North-West Frontier Province.
From Domandi (the junction of the Kundar river with the Gomal) the Afghan boundary marches with that of Baluchistan.
Routes that pass through the mountain barriers of the frontier between Peshawarand the Gomal occur at intervals along the western border, and in the northern section of the Indian frontier they are all well marked.
The Gomal is the great central trade route between Afghanistan and India; and the position, which is held by a tribal post at Wana, will do much to ensure its continued popularity.
The Gomal involves no passes of any great difficulty, although it is impossible to follow the actual course of the river on account of the narrow defiles which have been cut through the recent conglomerate beds which flank the plains of the Indus.
The Gomal route is of immense importance, both as a commercial and strategic line, and in both particulars is of far greater significance than either the Kurram or the Tochi.
Kabul is chiefly supplied with iron from the Permuli (or Farmuli) district, between the Upper Kurram and Gomal, where it is said to be abundant.
Coal (perhaps lignite) is said to be found in Zurmat (between the Upper Kurram and the Gomal) and near Ghazni.
An ad j acent opening, the Khyber Pass, the Kurram Pass to the south of it, the Gomal Pass near Dera Ismail Khan, the Tochi Pass between the two last-named, and the famous Bolan Pass still farther south, furnish the gateways between India and Afghanistan.
It extends from the Gomal river to the Arabian Sea, and from the borders of Persia and Afghanistan to those of the Punjab and Sind.
On the line of the Gomal, and expands to more than 200 m.
Here all the main drainage either runs northwards to the Gomal, passing through the uplands that lie west of the Suliman Range; or it gathers locally in narrow lateral valleys at the back of these mountains and then bursts directly eastwards through the limestone axis of the hills, making for the Indus by the shortest transverse route.
From Domandi, at the junction of the Gomal and Kundar rivers, the boundary between Baluchistan and Afghanistan follows the Northern.
But the independence of the Pathan people south of the Gomal is not as the independence of the Pathans (Waziris, Afridis, &c.) who live north of it.
There is considerable through trade with Afghanistan by the Gomal Pass, and there are local manufactures of cotton cloth scarves and inlaid wood-work.
From the Gomal river southward commences the true Suliman system, presenting an impenetrable barrier between the plains of the Indus and Afghanistan.