Khost-Gardez Pass

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Coordinates: 33°28′39.9″N 69°22′17.3″E / 33.477750°N 69.371472°E / 33.477750; 69.371472

Khost-Gardez Pass
K-G Pass in 2009.jpg
The Khost-Gardez Pass (K-G Pass) in Afghanistan during the winter season
Elevation 9,413 ft (2,869 m)
Traversed by Commercial and civilian traffic
Location Afghanistan
Range Sulaiman Mountains
Coordinates 33°28′39.9″N 69°22′17.3″E / 33.477750°N 69.371472°E / 33.477750; 69.371472

The Khost-Gardez Pass, known locally as the Seti-Kandow Pass and frequently abbreviated as the K-G Pass, is the main land route connecting Khost and Gardez, the capital of Paktia province in Afghanistan. The pass currently consists of a rutted dirt road, though it is slowly being improved by construction crews as part of the international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.


The Khost-Gardez Pass has been in use since Antiquity, serving as one of the main routes connecting Kabul to locations in the Indian subcontinent. During the Soviet occupation the pass was a frequent location for mujahideen attacks on Soviet convoys. Portions of the pass were paved or otherwise improved by German international development efforts during the 1970s, prior to the Soviet occupation. Remants of these improvements exist in the form of culverts and some asphalt on the Gardez side of the pass.


The Khost-Gardez Pass ascends approximately 2,000 feet (610 m) from the Gardez river valley to its highest point, then winds down 4,000 feet (1,200 m) to the floor of the Khost bowl. The pass runs through multiple administrative and tribal areas, including the districts of Swak, Gerda Serai and Waze Zadran in Paktia, and Besmil in Khost. The pass receives a high amount of snowfall in winter months, but is largely arid during the rest of the year. Vegetation consists of scrub and small trees, with small irrigated areas existing in the lower river areas.


The territory is inhabited mostly by the Pashtun people, although there are some Tajiks. The Zadran tribe is believed to be the predominant Pashtun tribe living in the K-G Pass area.[1]


The security situation in the Khost-Gardez Pass remains precarious. Attacks by militant elements remain frequent, and Coalition and Afghan forces and civilians are occasionally killed by IEDs. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the U.S. military forces maintain outposts at various points in the pass to provide security for travellers.[2]


  1. ^ "Zadran: Pashtun tribe mainly residing in the “Zadran Arc” a 9-district area encompassing portions of the Paktya, Paktika and Khowst provinces.", Paktia Executive Summary on
  2. ^ "On Afghanistan's wild border, in search of a quicksilver enemy", US News and World Reports, Retrieved on 12-19-2009