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“We have men and we have gold and treasure and sacred land in plenty, we have everything.”
—Dost Mohammad Khan Durrani Barakzai King of India and Afghanistan  to John Lawrence.

Famous Quotation of Amir Dost Muhmmad Khan of Afghanistan Durrani ( Royals Kings of Kings as Durrani is known ) to  John Lawrence Brother of Irishman Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence KCB (28 June 1806 – 4 July 1857) ( Man who made Law Lawrence College Ghora Galli Muree /Hazara) was a British soldier and statesman in India, who died In 1857 Mutiny defending Lucknow.

Amir Dost Muhammad Khan King of India and Afghanistan Till He lost it to British and his Partner Ranjit Singh .

Amir Dost Muhammad Khan King of India and Afghanistan Till He lost it to British and his Partner Ranjit Singh .

Background and rise to power : 

Dost Mohammad Khan (Pashto: دوست محمد خان, December 23, 1793 – June 9, 1863) was the founder of the Barakzai dynasty of Durrani Abdali Pashtun Kings of Afghanistan and one of the prominent rulers of Afghanistan during the First Anglo-Afghan War.[1] With the decline of the Durrani dynasty, he became Emir of Afghanistan from 1826 to 1839 and then from 1845 to 1863. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the 11th son of Sardar Payendah Khan (chief of the Barakzai tribe) who was killed in 1799 by Zaman Shah Durrani.[2] Dost Mohammad’s grandfather was Hajji Jamal Khan.

The two branches of the Barakzai dynasty (Translation of Barakzai: sons of Barak) ruled Afghanistan from 1826 to 1973 when the Durani Saudizai   monarchy who were rulling the Indian part finally Wanned and was Week under Mohammad Zahir Shah and Ayub Shah . so the Afghan part of Durrani the Barrackzai  came to rescue .

The  Durrani Barakzai dynasty was established by Dost Mohammad Khan after the Durrani dynasty of Ahmad Shah Durrani was removed from power. During this era, Afghanistan saw much of its territory lost to the British in the south and east, Persia in the west, and Russia in the north. There were also many conflicts within Afghanistan, including the three major Anglo-Afghan Wars and the 1929 civil war.

The Durrnai Barakzai dynasty was the line of rulers in Afghanistan in the 19th and 20th centuries. Following the fall of the Durrani Saudozia Empire in 1826, chaos reigned in the domains of Durrani Founder King Ahmed Shah Durrani’s Afghan Empire as various sons of Timur Shah struggled for supremacy.

Because of this Sad state of Inernal Rivalry ,The Afghan Empire ceased to exist as a single nation state, disintegrating for a brief time into a fragmented collection of small units. Dost Mohammad Khan gained preeminence in 1826 and founded the Barakzai dynasty in about 1837.

Thereafter, his descendants ruled in direct succession until 1929, when King Amanullah Khan abdicated and his cousin Mohammed Nadir Shah was elected king. The most prominent & powerful sub-clan of the Barakzai Pashtun tribe is the Mohamedzai clan, of which the 1826-1978 Afghanistan ruling dynasty comes from.[2]

According to Hyat Khan’s history of Afghanistan, from their progenitor Bor Tareen, otherwise known as Abdal, are descended two main divisions: the Zirak and the Panjpai. The term Abdal, however, gradually superseded Bor Tareen and came into special prominence when Ahmad Shah Abdali, commonly known as Durrani, began his career of conquest.

The Achakzi were once a branch of the large Barakzai tribe, but Ahmad Shah Durrani was worried over this large tribe as potential competition for control of Kabul’s throne and split the tribe into two separate components and since then the Achakzi have remained distinct and are a separate tribe today. Their original homeland was Maruf District, Kandahar Province.[3][4] [5]

Bārakzai (Pashto: بارکزی ‎ barakzay, plur. BĀRAKZĪ; Urdu: برکزئی‎) is a common ethnic name among the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan, meaning “son of Barak” in the Pashto language. Barakzai may also be the name of a Baloch tribe in Iran. There are seven distinct Pashtun tribes named Barakzai, with the Zīrak branch of the Abdal Tareen, Bor Tareen, Tareen. The Durrani is being the most important and largest tribe with over 4 million people.[1]

Durrani King Dost Mohammed Khan (1793-1863), a member of the Barakzai dynasty, was Amir of Afghanistan and India with his sphere of Influence extending to Delhi and Lahore Seat of  Power of India till it was lost after Durrani Line and 2 Anglo Afghan war of 1838 and 1878 and the Anglo Sikh Wars which were Initiated by Ranjeet Singh and his 11 European generals and Financed by East India Company .

Durrani Wanning Empire because of Great Game : 

He was Vicitm of Great Game and lost his Vast Empire of India and some Part of Afghanistan because of Moves of British East india company and Russian who Encroached on his Territory from 1826 to 1839.

Interestingly his Royal Durrani had Gained india after Ahmad Shah Abdali had Captured India after Pani Pat Wars and it was then Pashtun who were at time of mughal restricted to Afghanistan again Re-asserted their Claim on Indian after 1757 , when Mughals had lost thier Might and Power and East india Company / Briitsh had taken thier Strong Hold near the Indian Ocean Coastal Areas of Bihar and Bangladesh Areas where Afghan Muslim Tipu Sultan/ Amir Hyder  had his domain that was Shattered because of Mir jaffer Treachery and British Clever and Cunning Politics .

His Area of India including Punjab and later NWFP , Baluchistan and Afghanistan ’s position between the Russian Empire and India meant that the British East India Company was anxious to ensure that a pro-British Amir was on the throne at Kabul. But they could not Succeed

Dost Mohammad Khan was born to an influential family on 23 December 1793 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.[3] His father, Payandah Khan, was chief of the Barakzai tribe and a civil servant in the Durrani dynasty.

They trace their family tree to Abdal (the first and founder of the Abdali tribe), through Hajji Jamal Khan, Yousef, Yaru, Mohammad, Omar Khan, Khisar Khan, Ismail, Nek, Daru, Saifal, and Barak. Abdal had Four sons, Popal, Barak, Achak, and Alako.[4] Dost Mohmmad Khan’s mother is believed to have been a Shia from the Persian Qizilbash group.[2]

His elder brother, the chief of the Barakzai, Fatteh Khan, took an important part in raising Mahmud Shah Durrani to the sovereignty of Afghanistan in 1800 and in restoring him to the throne in 1809. Dost Mohammad accompanied his elder brother and then Prime Minister of Kabul Wazir Fateh Khan to the Battle of Attock against the invading Sikhs. Mahmud Shah repaid Fatteh Khan’s services by having him assassinated in 1818, thus incurring the enmity of his tribe. After a bloody conflict, Mahmud Shah was deprived of all his possessions but Herat, the rest of his dominions being divided among Fatteh Khan’s brothers. Of these, Dost Mohammad received Ghazni, to which in 1826 he added Kabul, the richest of the Afghan provinces.

From the commencement of his reign he found himself involved in disputes with Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab region, who used the dethroned Sadozai prince, Shah Shujah Durrani, as his instrument. In 1834 Shah Shujah made a last attempt to recover his kingdom. He was defeated by Dost Mohammad Khan under the walls of Kandahar, but Ranjit Singh seized the opportunity to annex Peshawar. Dost Mohammad sent his son Akbar Khan to defeat the Sikhs at the Battle of Jamrud in 1837.[3] The recovery of the Jamrud Fort became the Afghan amir’s great concern.

European influence in Afghanistan

Rejecting overtures from Russia, he endeavoured to form an alliance with Great Britain, and welcomed Alexander Burnes to Kabul in 1837. Burnes, however, was unable to prevail on the governor-general, Lord Auckland, to respond to the amir’s advances. Dost Mohammad was enjoined to abandon the attempt to recover Peshawar, and to place his foreign policy under British guidance. He replied by renewing his relations with Russia, and in 1838 Lord Auckland set the British troops in motion against him.

Fearful of a Russian invasion of India via Afghanistan, in 1837 the British sent an envoy,Alexander Burnes to Kabul in 1837. to Kabul to gain his support. Dost Mohammad was in favour of an alliance, but when the British refused to help him regain Peshawar, which the Sikhs had seized in 1834, he prepared to talk to the Russians, who sent an envoy to Kabul.

This led Lord Auckland, the Governor-General of India, to conclude that Dost Mohammad was anti-British. The decision was taken to replace him as Amir with a former ruler, Shah Shujah.

In March 1839 the British forces under Willoughby Cotton advanced through the Bolan Pass, and on April 26 it reached Kandahar. On 7 August 1839, Shah Shujah was proclaimed Amir of Afghanistan, while Dost Mohammad sought refuge in the wilds of the Hindu Kush. For some time he sought refuge with an influential local resistance leader, Mir Masjidi Khan. Closely followed by the British, Dost Mohammad was driven to extremities, and on 4 November 1840, surrendered as a prisoner. He remained in captivity during the British occupation, the Massacre of Elphinstone’s army in January 1842 and until the recapture of Kabul in the autumn of 1842.

In March 1839 a British force advanced through the Bolan Pass, and on 26 April reached Kandahar. Shah Shujah a Non Pashtun was proclaimed ruler.

Briitsh entered Kabul on 7 August, while Dost Mohammad sought refuge in the Hindu Kush. The British eventually caught him on 4 November 1840. He remained in captivity during their occupation and the disastrous retreat from Kabul in January 1842.

Following the British Massacre in First Afghan war of 1838-42 recapture of Kabul By Shah Sons and Afghan in the autumn of 1842, Dost Mohamed was restored to the throne, the unpopular Shah Shujah having been murdered by the Brave Afghans

Amir Dost Mohammad Khan of Afghanistan with his son in Court

The British East Indian Company decided that occupying the country would cost too much in men and money and withdrew. Dost Mohamed reigned until his death in 1863. With some exceptions, his relationship with British India was friendly, and from 1855 regulated by treaty.

He was then set at liberty, in consequence of the resolve of the British government to abandon the attempt to intervene in the internal politics of Afghanistan. On his return from British India, Dost Mohammad was received in triumph at Kabul, and set himself to re-establish his authority on a firm basis.From 1846 he renewed his policy of hostility to the British and allied himself with the Punjabi Sikhs.

However, after the defeat of his allies at Gujrat on 21 February 1849, he abandoned his designs and led his troops back into Afghanistan. In 1850 he conquered Balkh, and in 1854 he acquired control over the southern Afghan tribes by the capture of Kandahar.

On 30 March 1855, Dost Mohammad reversed his former policy by concluding an offensive and defensive alliance with the British government, signed by Sir Henry Lawrence, Chief Commissioner of the Punjab, first proposed by Herbert Edwardes.[5]

The Family Tree of Dost Muhammad Khan in Linege of Royal Durrani Empire Indo Afghan Kings 1757-1980.

The Family Tree of Dost Muhammad Khan in Linege of Royal Durrani Empire Indo Afghan Kings 1757-1980.

In 1857 he declared war on Persia in conjunction with the British, and in July a treaty was concluded by which the province of Herat was placed under a Barakzai prince.

During the Indian Mutiny, of 1857 Dost Mohammad refrained from assisting the insurgents. His later years were disturbed by troubles at Herat and in Bukhara.

These he composed for a time, but in 1862 a Persian army, acting in concert with Ahmad Khan, advanced against Herat. The old amir called the British to his aid, and, putting himself at the head of his warriors, drove the enemy from his frontiers.

On 26 May 1863 he re-captured Herat, but on the 9th of June he died suddenly in the midst of victory, Mysteriously  after playing a great role in the history of South and Central Asia for forty years. He named as his successor his son, Amir  Sher Ali Khan.

Amir Dost Muhammad Khan Painting by East India Company Painter

Amir Dost Muhammad Khan Painting by East India Company Painter

Famous Paintings of last King of India and Afghanistan Amir Dost Muhammad Khan

This is lithograph is taken from plate 2 of ‘Afghaunistan’ by Lieutenant James Rattray.

Rattray was in the Bengal Army and took part in the first Afghan War, from 1839 to 1842. This conflict saw Dost Mohammed deposed as Emir of Afghanistan. Rattray was granted an audience with the Emir in Peshawar in January 1841. At this time, Dost Mohammed was a prisoner of state and on his way to exile in Calcutta.

Rattray was struck by the Emir’s deep voice, open manner and intelligent countenance, and by his followers with their finely chiselled features and tall, handsome figures.

The young boy with his head shaven in the manner “peculiar to the rosy-cheeked children of Caubul” was the Emir’s son from his youngest wife. Rattray wrote that since Dost Mohammed had been “a ruler just and merciful and attentive to affairs of state … the population of Peshawur considered him to be most unjustly treated by us.” The decorations of this apartment were a facsimile of the Emir’s former audience hall in the citadel of Ghazni.

 

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