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.
This led to long negotiations, and ultimately to war, when the British forced the Khyber Pass in November 1878, and defeated the amir's forces on every occasion.
Strategically it is an important topographical feature, for it divides the basin of the Kabul river and the Khyber route from the valley of Kurram, leaving no practicable pass across its rugged crest to connect the two.
Between it and Peshawar intervenes the Khyber Pass, and between it and Kabul the passes of Jagdalak, Khurd Kabul, &c. The site was chosen by the emperor Baber, and he laid out some gardens here; but the town itself was built by his grandson Akbar in A.D.
As a strategical centre Jalalabad is one of the most important positions in Afghanistan, for it dominates the entrances to the Laghman and the Kunar valleys; commanding routes to Chitral or India north of the Khyber, as well as the Kabul-Peshawar road.