"Therefore Mahbub had avoided halting at the insalubrious city of Peshawar. "
Peshawar Today
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePeshawar Today - Credit: Rucksackkruemel, Flickr

Peshawar is capital of the North West Frontier Province, and lies on the Khyber Pass near the Afghan border. During the Raj period, Peshawar was a major crossroads between British India and Afghanistan. Hence, the city was of strategic importance to Britain's efforts to gain greater control over Afghanistan and the Middle East.

By having Mahbub avoid 'insalubrious' Peshawar, Kipling may be dropping another clue to the reader that the horse-trader is working for the British Secret Service, and thinks it unwise to pass through a city known for intrigue and espionage.  

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