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THE AFGHAN FRONTIER.

Lasi evening Mr W. Simpson, F.R.GS , read a paper before the Indian section of the society of artß on " Etperiences on the Algban Frontier." The phair was taken by Sir Peter Luraßden, 0.0.8., O.b 1 , who in introducing Mr Simpson referred to him as one of a regiment of volunteers, viz , special correspondents, who turned up on nil ocensions in nil parts of the earth, nnd BOUie of whoiahad more military experience tban many genert.l officers. Mr Simpson in the cource o» his paper said that the subject of railways in Persia hid often bucn forced upon bis mind m travelling through ; that country. As a matter of fact there were no railways in Tcrsia; the Innd of the Lion and the Sun had not a ain^o mile of rnilway, nor did it seem to be centeniplutcd to make a beginning in thnt direction. Tho Shah 19 said to b>i afraid of railways, as they might be used against him in cuec of war. The first plac» of any importance which the Afghan Frontier Commission touched upon the frontier v/no Sarakh?. This city which was once an important one, had now almost censed U exist. The population had become exterminated, and their habitations had disappeared. That was an epitome of ■what had taken place all over the region. Robbery and destruction had reigned supremo, and desolation bad been tho result. If the few miles which wt-re cultivated at Herat gave that place so much political importance, what woul.l a country of watered valleys extending over 800 miles produce » A discussion followed. Sir Peter Lumsden said that the great line of railway which they might style the Russian Central Asian Railway, wns of the utmost importance. He thought they had every reason to accept the estimate as to the progress of work originally giveu by a very eminent Russinn engineer, who at the commencement of the work declared that he would cairy it iS far as Mcrv at the spring of tlm year, ami towards the Oxus at the close of it. Ho thought originally that its distance vns calculated at about 750 vers's. The toUl cost wns estimated at about 12,240,000 roubles. If the actual cost was kept within the estimate, it was certainly otic of tht? cl.eapist railways in the world. There were 1.0 cuttings, and very few bridges. This vtould be the route by which traJe and travelling would be c;irriul an from Central Asia, and were there no transit dutic9 a very great trade would spring up bctvveeu Central Asia and Europe. Ho thought that the Ruasians carried out tho system of repopulatiuj; new countries better than almost uuyonc. The llussi-m Governor Grt.eral of the Caucasus (old him thnt the project of the Hu^ians wa.? to reclaim the f^ur great oasis of that par! of the world. They had taken that work iv hand and certainly were progre-esng with it aa quickly as any people could do.— Times, March 20.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NOT18860521.2.20

Bibliographic details

THE AFGHAN FRONTIER., North Otago Times, Volume XXXI, Issue 6058, 21 May 1886

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496

THE AFGHAN FRONTIER. North Otago Times, Volume XXXI, Issue 6058, 21 May 1886

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