Saturday, January 03, 2009

A curious symmetry

Al Biruni wrote {around 1020 AD, Edward Sachau translation of Tarikh al-hind}
Now in the following times {after Muhammad bin Kasim, c. 700} no Muslim conqueror passed beyond the frontier of Kabul and the river Sindh until the days of the Turks, when they seized the power in Ghazni under the Samani dynasty, and the supreme power fell to the lot of Nasir-addaula Sabuktagin. This prince chose holy war as his calling, and therefore called himself Al-Ghazi (i.e., warring on the road of Allah). In the interests of his successors he constructed, in order to weaken the Indian frontier, those roads on which afterwards his son Yamin-addaula Mahmud marched into India during a period of thirty years and more.

In July 2008, after several years of effort, and a few lives lost to the Taliban, India completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway, opening a route into Afghanistan via the Iranian port of Chabahar.