The Great Game was all about expanding powers in Central Asia by two forces — the British and the Russians — and controlling natural resources in the region. During the late 19th century, the British Raj in India had begun to worry about Russia expanding its power in Central Asia. Fearing that the Russians may enter the region from Afghanistan via Kandahar, the British decided to lay their railway tracks all the way to Kandahar so they could send their troops to counter Russian forces.
In order to do so, the British had to bypass the famous 2,290-metre high Khojak Pass of Toba Kakar Mountain, which has been crossed for centuries by soldiers, merchants and conquerors.
The 3.9km tunnel was constructed from 1888 to 1891 under the Khojak Pass, and the tunnel was named after it: Khojak Tunnel. The railway track that goes through Quetta crosses the Khojak Tunnel and goes all the way to the Pak-Afghan border town of Chaman. The British could not go further than that.
Khojak tunnel is pictured on the old five rupees note, that stopped being issued in 2005. The tunnel is one of the longest tunnels in South Asia, and was the longest in Pakistan until superseded by the 8.75 km Lowari Tunnel in 2018.
The old archival photos of the tunnel show that it had two towers on its entrance which fell in the earthquake of 1935.