Murghab, with a population 4,000, is about the only significant town in the eastern half of Gorno-Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. It is the highest town, 3,650m, in the country. The modern town was constructed during the period of Soviet rule of Tajikistan as a rest stop along the Pamir Highway. The Pamir Highway goes north to Sary-Tash and on to Osh in Kyrgyzstan and southwest to the region's capital Khorog (about 300 kilometers distant). A newer road goes east over the Kulma Pass to the Karakoram Highway in China connecting to Tashkurgan to the south and Kashgar in the north. Murghab's location at the hub of these roads makes it a regional center for trade, reputedly including a significant trade in illicit drugs. The place was founded by the Russians as Pamirsky Post in 1893, as their most advanced military outpost into Central Asia.