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In the highlands of Kabul edible rhubarb is an im rtant local luxury. The plants grow wild in the mountains. The bleached rhubarb, which has a very delicate flavour, is altered by covering the young leaves, as they sprout from the soil, with loose stones or an em ty jar. The leaf-stalks are gathered by the neighbourin hill peop e, and carried down for sale. Bleached and unbleache rhubarb are both lar el consumed, both raw and cooked.
The walnut and e ib e pine-nut are both wild growths, which are ex rted.
he sanjil (Elaeaguns orientalis), common on the banks of watercourses, furnishes an edible fruit. An orchis found in the mountain ,yields the dried tuber which affords the nutritious mucilage called salep; a good deal of this goes to India.
Pistana khinjak affords a mastic. The fruit, mixed with its resin, is used for food by the Achakzais in Southern Afghanistan. The true pistachio is found only on the northern frontier; the nuts are imported from Badakshan and Kunduz.
Mushrooms and other fungi are largely used as food, especially by the Hindus of the towns, to whom they supply a substitute for meat.
Manna, of at least two kinds, is sold in the bazaars. One, called turanjbfn, ap ears to exude, in small round tears, from the camelthorn, and a so from the dwarf tamarisk; the other, sir-kasht, in large grains and irregular masses or cakes with bits of twig imbedded, is obtained from a tree which the natives call siah chob (black wood), thought by Bellew to be a Fraxinus or Ornus.
. In most parts of the country there are two harvests, as generally in India. One of these, called by the Afghans bahdrak, or
the spring crop, is sown in the end of autumn and 23;. reaped in summer. It consists of wheat, barley and a
variety of lentils. The other, called pdizah or lirmfii, the autumnal, is sown in the end of spring, and reaped in autumn. _It consists of rice, varieties of millet and sorghum, of maize, Phaseolus M unga, tobacco, beet, turnips, &c. The loftier regions have but one harvest.
Wheat is the staple food over the greater part of the country. Rice is not largely distributed. In much of the eastern mountainous country bdjra (H olcus spicatus) is the chief grain. Most English and Indian garden-stuffs are cultivated; turnips in some places very largely, as cattle food.
The growth of melons, water-melons and other cucurbitaceous plants is reckoned very important, especially near towns; and this crop counts for a distinct harvest.
Sugar-cane is grown only in the rich plains; and though cotton is grown in the warmer tracts, most of the cotton cloth is imported.
Madder is an important item of the spring crop in Ghazni and Kandahar districts, and generally over the west, and supplies the Indian demand. It is said to be very profitable, though it takes three years to mature. Saffron is grown and \exported. The caster-oil plant is everywhere common, and furnishes most of the oil of the country. Tobacco is grown very generally; that of Kandahar has much repute, and is exported to India and Bokhara. Two crops of leaves are taken.
Lucerne and a trefoil called shaflal form important fodder crops in the western parts of the country, and, when irrigated, are said to afiord ten or twelve cuttings in the season. The komal (Prangas pabularia) is abundant in the hill country of Ghazni, and is said to extend through the Hazara country to Herat. It is stored for winter use, and forms an excellent fodder. Others are derived from the H olcus sorghum, and from two kinds of panick. It is common to cut down the green wheat and barley before the ear forms, for fodder, and the repetition of this, with barley at least, is said not to injure the grain crop. Bellew gives the following statement of the manner in which the soil is sometimes worked in the Kandahar district—Barley is sown in November; in March and April it is twice cut for fodder; in June the grain is reaped, the ground is ploughed and manured and sown with tobacco, which yields two cuttings. The ground is then prepared for carrots and turnips, which are gathered in November or December.
Of great moment are the fruit crops. All European fruits are produced profusely, in many varieties and of excellent quality. Fresh or preserved, they form a principal food of a large class of the people, and the dry fruit is largely exported.
_In the valleys of Kabul mulberries are dried, and packed in skins for winter use. This mulberry cake is often reduced to
flour, and used as such, forming in some valleys the main food of the people.
Grapes are grown very extensively, and the varieties are very numerous. The vines are sometimes trained on trellises, but most frequently over ridges of earth 8 or 10 ft. high. The principal part of the garden lands in villages round Kandahar is vineyard, and the produce must be enormous.
Open canals are usual in the Kabul valley, and in eastern Afghanistan generally; but over all the western parts of the country much use is made of the karez, which is a subterranean aqueduct uniting the waters of several springs, and conducting their combined volume to the surface at a lower level.
As regards vertebrate zoology, Afghanistan lies on the frontier of three regions, viz. the Eurasian, the Elhiopian (to which region Baluchistan seems to belong) and the Judo-Malayan. Hence it naturally partakes somewhat of the
forms. of each, but is in the main Eurasian.
Felidae.—F. catus, F. cliaus (both Eurasian); F. caracal (Eur., Ind., Eth.), about Kandahar; a small leopard, stated to be found almost all over the country, perhaps rather the cheetah (F. jubatus, Ind. and Eth.); F. pardus, the common leopard (Eth. and Ind.). The tiger exists in Af han Turkestan.
Camdae.—The jac al (C. aureus, Eur., Ind., Eth.) abounds on the Helmund and Argand-ab, and probably elsewhere. Wolves (C. Bengalensis) are formidable in the wilder tracts, and assemble in tree 5 on the snow, destroying cattle and sometimes attacking sing e horsemen. The hyena (H. sln'ala, Africa to India) is common. These do not hunt in packs, but will sometimes singly attack a bullock; they and the wolves make havoc among shee . A favourite feat of the boldest of the young men of southern Afghanistan is to enter the hyena's den, single-handed, mufile and tie him. There are wild dogs, according to Elphinstone and Conolly. The small Indian fox (Vul es Bengalensis) is found; also V. flaaescenr, common to India an Persia, the skin of which is much used as a fur.
Mustelidae.—Species of mungoose (Herpestes), species of otter, Muslela erminea, and two ferrets, one of them with tortoise-shell marks, tamed by the Afghans to keep down vermin; a marten (M. flaan'gula, Indian). '
Bears are two: a black one, probably Ursus torqualus; and one of a dirty yellow, U. Isabellinus, both Himalayan species.
Ruminants.—Ca1>ra aegagrus and C. megaceras; a wild sheep (Ovi: cycloceros or Vignei); Gazelle sub utturosa—these are often netted in batches when they descend to rink at a stream; G. dorms perhaps; Cervus Wallichii, the Indian barasingha, and probably some other Indian deer, in the north-eastern mountains.
The wild hog (Sus scrofa) is found on the lower Helmund. The wild ass, Garkhar of Persia (Equus onager), is frequent on the sandy tracts in the south-west.
The Himalayan varieties of the markhor and ibex are abundant in Kafiristan.
Talpidae.——A mole, probabl Talpa Euro aea; Sorex I ndicus; Erinaceus callaris (Indian), an Er. aurilur ( urasian).
Bats believed to be Phyllorhinus cineraceus (Punjab species), Scotofhilus Bellii (W. India), Vesp. auritus and V. barbaslellus, both foun from England to India.
Radmtia.—A uirrel (Sciurus SyriacusP); Mus Indicus and M. Gerbellinus; a J'siflma (DiPus lelum?); Alactaga Baclriana; Gerbillus Indicus, an G. erythrinus (Persian and Indian); Lagomys NePalcrisis, a Central Asian 5 ies. A hare, probably L. ruficaudatus.
Bums—The largest ist of Afghan birds that we know of is given by Captain Hutton in the J. As. Soc. Bengal, vol. xvi. pp. 7 5 seq.; but it is confessedly far from complete. I 124 species in t at list, ?5 are pronounced to be Eurasian, 17 Indian, 10 both Eurasian and
ndian, I (Turtur rison'us) Eur., Ind. and Eth.; and I only, Carpa~ dacus (Bucanctes) crassirastris, peculiar to the country. Afghanistan a pears to be, during the breeding season, the retreat of a variety oiJ Indian and some African (desert) forms, whilst in winter the aviéauna becomes overwhelmingly Eurasian.
EPTILE5.——The following particulars are from Grayz—Lizards. —PseudoPus gracilis (Eun), Ar yrophis Horsfield-ii, Salsa Harsfieldii, Caloles Maria, C. auricular, minor, C. Emma, Phrynocephalus Tickelii—all Indian forms. A tortoise (Testuda Harsfieldii) a(ppears to be peculiar to Kabul. There are apparently no salaman ers or tailed Amphibia. The frogs are partly Eurasian, partly Indian; and the same may be said of the fish, but they are as yet most imperfectly known.
The camel is of a more robust and compact breed than the tall beast used in India, and is more carefully tended. The twohumped Bactrian camel is commonly used in the Oxus regions, but is seldom seen near the Indian frontier.
Horses form a. staple export to India. The best of these, however, are reserved for the Afghan cavalry. Those exported to India are usually bred in Maimana and other places in Afghan
Turkestan. The indigenous horse is the yabu, a stout, heavyshouldered animal, of about 14 hands high, used chiefly for burden, but also for riding. It gets over incredible distances at an ambling shuflie, but is unfit for fast work and cannot stand excessive heat. The breed of horses was much improved under the amir Abdur Rahman, who took much interest in it. Generally, colts are sold and worked too young.
The cows of Kandahar and Seistan give very large quantities of milk. They seem to be of the humped variety, but with the hump evanescent. Dairy produce is important in Afghan diet, especially the pressed and dried curd called krill (an article and name perhaps introduced by the Mongols).
There are two varieties of sheep, both having the fat tail. One bears a white fleece, the other a russet or black one. Much of the white wool is exported to Persia, and now largely to Europe by Bombay. Flocks of sheep are the main wealth of the nomad population, and mutton is the chief animal food of the nation. In autumn large numbers are slaughtered, their carcases cut up, rubbed with salt and dried in the sun. The same is done with beef and camel’s flesh.
The goats, generally black or parti-coloured, seem to be a degenerate variety of the shawl-goat.
The climate is found to be favourable to dog-breeding. Pointers are bred in the Kohistan of Kabul and above Jalalabad—large, heavy, slow-hunting, but fine-nosed and staunch; very like the old double-nosed Spanish pointer. There are greyhounds also, but inferior in speed to second-rate English dogs.
The manufactures of the country have not developed much during recent years. Poshtins (sheepskin clothing) and the many varieties of camel and goat’s hair-cloth which, under the name of “ barak,” “ karak,” &c., are manufactured in the northern districts, are still the chief local products of that part of Afghanistan. Herat and Kandahar are famous for their silks, although a large proportion of the manufactured silk found on the Herat market, as well as many of the felts, carpets and embroideries, are brought from the Central Asian khanates. The district of Herat produces many of the smaller sorts of carpets (“ galichas ” or prayer-carpets), of excellent design and colour, the little town of Adraskand being especially famous for this industry; but they are not to be compared with the best products of eastern Persia or of the Turkman districts about Panjdeh.
The nomadic Afghan tribes of the west are chiefly pastoral, and the wool of the southern Herat and Kandahar provinces is famous for its quality. In this direction, the late boundary settlements have undoubtedly led to a considerable development of local resources. A large quantity of wool, together with silk, dried fruit, madder and asafetida, finds its way to India by the Kandahar route.
It is impossible to give accurate trade statistics, there being no trustworthy system of registration. The value of the imports from Kabul to India in 1892—1893 was estimated at 221,000 Rx(or tens of rupees). In 1899 it was little over 217,000 Rx, theperiod of lowestintermediate depression being in 1897. These imports include horses, cattle, fruits, grain, wool, silk, hides, tobacco, drugs and provisions (ghi, &c.). All this trade emanates from Kabul, there being no transit trade with Bokhara owing to the heavy dues levied by the amir. The value of the exports from India to Kabul also shows great fluctuation. In the year 1892—1893 it was registered at nearly 61 1,000 Rx. In 1894—1895 it had sunk to 274,000 Rx, and in 1899 it figured at 294,600 Rx. The chief items are cotton goods, sugar and tea. In 1898—1899 the imports from Kandahar to India were valued at 330,000 Rx, and the exports from India to Kandahar at about 264,000 Rx. Threefourths of the exports consist of cotton goods, and three-eighths of the imports were raw Wool. The balance of the imports was chiefly made up of dried fruits. Comparison with trade statistics of previous years on this side Afghanistan is difficult, owing to the inclusion of a large section of Baluchistan and Persia within the official “ Kandahar ” returns; but it does not appear that the value of the western Afghanistan trade is much on the increase. The opening up of the route between Quetta and
Trade and commerce.
Seistan has doubtless affected a trade which was already seriously hampered by restrictions. In the year after the mission of Sir Louis Dane to Kabul in 1005 it was authoritatively stated that the trade between Afghanistan and India had nearly doubled in value. .
The basin of the Kabul river especially abounds in remains of the period when Buddhism flourished. Bamian is famous for its wall-cut figures, and at Haibak (on the route between Tashkurghan and Kabul) there are some most interesting Buddhist remains. In the Koh-Daman, north of Kabul, are the sites of several ancient cities, the greatest of which, called Beghram, has furnished coins in scores of thousands, and has been supposed to represent Alexander’s Nicaea. Nearer Kabul, and especially on the hills some miles south of the city, are numerous topes. In the valley of Jalalabad are many remains of the same character.
In the valley of the Tarnak are the ruins of a great city (Ulan Robat) supposed to be the ancient Arachosia. About Girishk, on the Helmund, are extensive mounds and other traces of buildings; and the remains of several great cities exist in the plain of Seistan, as at Pulki, Peshawaran and Lakh, relics of ancient Drangiana. An ancient stone vessel preserved in a mosque at Kandahar is almost certainly the same that was treasured at Peshawar in the 5th century as the begging pot of SakyaMuni. In architectural relics of a later date than the GraecoBuddhist period Afghanistan is remarkably deficient. Of the city of Ghazni, the vast capital of Mahmud and his race, no substantial relics survive, except the tomb of Mahmud and two remarkable brick minarets. A vast and fruitful harvest of coins has been gathered in Afghanistan and the adjoining regions.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.—Rawlinson,EnglandandRussiainlheEast(18752; H. M. Durand, The First Afghan War (1879); Wyllie's Essays on External Policy of India (1875) ; El hinstone, Account of the Kingdom of Kabul (1809): Parliamentary apers, “ Afghanistan"; Curzon, Problems in the Far East; Holdich, Indian Borderland( 1901); India (1903); Indian Survey Reports; Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission (1886); Pamir Boundary Commission (1896). (T. H. H. ')
The Afghan chroniclers call their people Beni-Israil (Arab. for Children of Israel), and claim descent from King Saul (whom they call by the Mahommedan corruption T 61121) through a son whom they ascribe to him, called Jeremiah, who again had a son called Afghana. The numerous stock of Afghana were removed by Nebuchadrezzar, and found their way to the mountains of Ghor and Feroza (east and north of Herat). Only nine years after Mahommed’s announcement of his mission they heard of the new prophet, and sent to Medina a deputation headed by a wise and holy man called Kais, to make inquiry. The deputation became zealous converts, and on their return converted their countrymen. From Kais and his three sons the whole of the genuine Afghans claim descent.
This story is repeated in greatand varying detail in sundry books by Afghans, the oldest of which appears to be of the 16th century; nor do we know that any trace of the legend is found of older date. In the version given by Major Raverty (Introd. to Afghan Grammar), Afghanah is settled by King Solomon himself in the Sulimani mountains; there is nothing about Nebuchad_ rezzar or Ghor. The historian Ferishta says he had read that the Afghans were descended from Copts of the race of Pharaoh. And one of the Afghan histories, quoted by Mr Bellew, relates “a current tradition ” that, previous to the time of Kais, Bilo the father of the Biluchis, Uzbak (evidently the father of the Usbegs) and A fghana were considered as brethren. As Mahommed Usbeg Khan, the eponymus of the medley of Tatar tribes called Usbegs, reigned in the 14th century A.D., this gives some possible light on the value of these so-called traditions.
We have analogous stories in the literature of almost all nations that derive their religion or their civilization from a foreign source. To say nothing of the Book of Mormon, a considerable number of persons have been found to prdpagate the doctrine that the English people are descended from the. tribes of Israel. But the Hebrew ancestry of the Afghans is
more worthy at least of consideration, for a respectable number of intelligent officers, well acquainted with the Afghans, have been strong in their belief of it; and though the customs alleged in proof will not bear the stress laid on them, undoubtedly a prevailing type of the Afghan physiognomy has a character strongly Jewish. This characteristic is certainly a remarkable one; but it is shared, to a considerable extent, by the Kashmiris (a circumstance which led Bernier to speculate on the Kashmiris representing the lost tribes of Israel), and, we believe, by the Tajik people of Badakshan. . Relations with the Greeks.——In the time of Darius Hystaspes (500 13.0.) we find the region now called Afghanistan embraced in the Achaemenian satrapies, and various parts of it occupied by Sarangians (in Seistan), Arians (in Herat), Saltagydians (supposed in highlands of upper Helmund and the plateau of Ghazni), Dadicae (suggested to be Tajiks), Aparylae (mountaineers, perhaps of Safed Koh, where lay the Paryelae of Ptolemy), Gamiarii (in Lower Kabul basin) and Paklyes, on or near the Indus. In the last name it has been plausibly suggested that we have the Pukhtun, as the eastern Afghans pronounce their name. Indeed, Pusht, Park! or Pakht would seem to be the oldest name of the country of the Afghans in their traditions. The Ariana of Strabo corresponds generally with the existing
dominions of Kabul, but overpasses their limits on the west and,
About 310 B.C. Seleucus is said by Strabo to have given, to the Indian Sandrocottus (Chandragupta), in consequence of a marriage-contract, some part of the country west of the Indus occupied by an Indian population, and no doubt embracing a part of the Kabul basin. Some sixty years later occurred the establishment of an independent Greek dynasty in Bactria. (See BACTRIA, Menu, Euanrrmzs, MENANDER of India, EUTHYDEMUS, and PERSIA, Ancient History.) Of the details of their history and extent of their dominion in different reigns we know almost nothing, and conjecture is often dependent on such vague data as are afforded by the collation of the localities in which the coins of independent princes have been found. But their power extended certainly over the Kabul basin, and probably, at times, over the whole of Afghanistan. The ancient architecture of Kashmir, the tape of Manikyala in the Punjab, and many sculptures found in the Peshawar valley, show unmistakable Greek influence, Demetrius (c. Ioo'Bc) is supposed to have reigned in Arachosia after being expelled from Bactria, much as, at a later date, Baber reigned in Kabul after his expulsion from Samarkand. Eucratides (181 B.C.) is alleged by Justin to have warred in India. With his coins, found abundantly in the Kabul basin, commences the use of an Arianian inscription, in addition to the Greek, supposed to imply the transfer of rulev to the south of the mountains, over a people whom the Greek dynasty sought to conciliate. Under Heliocles (147 B.C.?), the Parthians, who had already encroached on Ariana, pressed their conquests into India. Menander (126 B.C.) invaded India at least to the Jumna, and perhaps also to the Indus delta. The coinage of-a succeeding king, Hermaeus, indicates a barbaric irruption. There is a general correspondence between classical and Chinese accounts of the time when Bactria was overrun by Scythian invaders. The chief nation among these, called by the Chinese Yue-Chi, about 126 B.C. established themselves in Sbgdiana and on the Oxus in five hordes. Near the Christian era the chief of one of these, which was calledIKushan, subdued the rest, and extended his conquests over the countries south of the Hindu Kush, including Sind as well as Afghanistan, thus establishing a great dominion, of which we hear from Greek writers as Indo-Scythia. (See YUE-CHI.)
Buddhism had already acquired influence over the people of the Kabul basin, and some of the barbaric invaders adopted that system. Its traces are extensive, especially in the plains of Jalalabad and Peshawar, but also in the vicinity of Kabul.
_Various barbaric dynasties succeeded each other. A notable monarch was Kanishka (see INDIA, History) or Kanerkes, whose date is variously fixed at from 58 B c. to AD. 1 25, and whose power extended over the upper Oxus basin, Kabul, Peshawar, Kashmir
and probably far into India. His name and legends still filled the land, or at least the Buddhist portion of it, 600 years later, when the Chinese pilgrim, Hst'ian Tsang, travelled in India; they had even reached the great Mahommedan philosopher, traveller and geographer, Abi'i-r-Raihan Muhammad al-Birfini (see Biiu‘mi), in the 11th century; and they are still celebrated in the Mongol versions of Buddhist ecclesiastical story.
Turkoman Dynasties—In the time of Hstian Tsang (AD. 630— 645) there were both Indian and Turk princes in the Kabul valley, and in the succeeding centuries both these races seem to have predominated in succession. The first Mahommedan attempts at the conquest of Kabul were unsuccessful, though Seistan and Arachosia were permanently held from an early date. It was not till the end of the 10th century that a Hindu prince ceased to reign in' Kabul, and it fell into the hands of the Turk Sabuktagin, who had established his capital at Ghazni. There, too, reigned his famous son Mahmud, and aseries of descendants, till the middle of the 12th century, rendering the city one of the most splendid in Asia. We then have‘a powerful dynasty, commonly believed to have been of Afghan race; and if so, the first. But the historians give them a legendary descent from Zohak, which is no Afghan genealogy. The founder of the dynasty was Alauddin, chief of Ghor, whose vengeance for the cruel death of his brother at the hands of Bahram the Ghaznevide was wreaked in devastating the great city. His nephew, Shahabuddin Mahommed, repeatedly invaded India, conquering as far as Benares. His empire in India indeed— ruled by his freedmen who after his death became independent —may be regarded as the origin of that great Mahommedan monarchy which endured nominally till 1857. For a brief period the Afghan countries were subject to the king of Khwarizm, and it was here chiefiy- that occurred the gallant attempts of Jalaluddin of Khwarizm to withstand the progress of Jenghiz Khan.
A passage in Ferishta seems to imply that the Afghans in the Sulimani mountains were already known by that name in the first century of the Hegira, but it is uncertain how far this may be built on. The name Afghans is very distinctly mentioned in ’Utbi’s History of Sultan Mahmud, written about AD. 1030, coupled with that of the Khiljis. It also appears frequently in connexion with the history of India in the 13th and 14th centuries. The successive dynasties of Delhi are generally called Pathan, but were really so only in part. Of the Khiljis (1288— 1321) we have already spoken. The Tughlaks (1321—1421) were originally Tatars of the Karauna tribe. The Lodis (1450—1526) were pure Pathans. For a century and more after the Mongol invasion the whole of the Afghan countries were under Mongol rule; but in the middle of the 14th century a native dynasty sprang up in western Afghanistan, that of the Karts, which extended its rule over Ghor, Herat and Kandahar. The history of the Afghan countries under the Mongols is obscure; but that régime must have left its mark upon the country, if we judge from the occurrence of frequent Mongol names of places, and even of Mongol expressions adopted into familiar language.
The Mogul Dynasty—All these countries were included in Timur’s conquests, and Kabul at least had remained in the possession of one of his descendants till 1501, only three years before it fell into the hands of another and more illustrious one, Sultan Baber. It was not till 1522 that Baber succeeded in permanently wresting Kandahar from the Arghuns, a family of Mongol descent, who had long held it. From the time of his conquest of Hindustan (victory at Panipat, April 21, 1526), Kabul and Kandahar may be regarded as part of the empire of Delhi under the (so-called) Mogul dynasty which Baber founded. Kabul so continued till the invasion of Nadir Shah (1738). Kandahar often changed hands between the Moguls and the rising Safavis (or Sufis) of Persia. Under the latter it had remained from 1642 till 1708, when in the reign of Husain, the last of them, the Ghilzais, provoked by the oppressive Persian governor Shahnawaz Khan (a Georgian prince of the Bagratid house), revolted under Mir Wais, and expelled the Persians. Mir Wais was acknowledged sovereign of Kandahar, and eventually defeated the Persian armies sent against him, but did not long survive (d. 1715). '
Mahmud, the son of Mir Wais, a man of great courage and energy, carried out a project of his father’s, the conquest of Persia itself. After a long siege, Shah Husain came forth from Ispahan with all his court, and surrendered the sword and diadem of the Sufis into the hands of the Ghilzai (October 1722). Two years later Mahmud died mad, and a few years saw the end of Ghilzai rule in Persia.
The Durani Dynasty.—~In 1737-38 Nadir Shah both recovered Kandahar and took Kabul. But he gained the goodwill of the Afghans, and enrolled many in his army. Among these was a noble young soldier, Ahmad Khan, of the Saddozai family of the Abdali clan, who after the assassination of Nadir (1747) was chosen by the Afghan chiefs at Kandahar to be their leader, and assumed kingly authority over the eastern part of Nadir's empire, with the style of Dur-i-Durdn, “Pearl of the Age," bestowing that of Durani upon his clan, the Abdalis. With Ahmad Shah, Afghanistan, as such, first took a place among the kingdoms of the earth, and the Durani dynasty, which he founded, still occupies its throne. During the twenty-six years of his reign he carried his warlike expeditions far and wide. Westward they extended nearly to the shores of the Caspian; eastward he repeatedly entered India as a conqueror. At his great battle of Panipat (January 6, 1761), with vastly inferior numbers, he inflicted on the Mahrattas, then at the zenith of their power, a tremendous defeat, almost annihilating their vast army; but the success had for him no important result. Having long suffered from a terrible disease, he died in 1773, bequeathing to his son Timur a dominion which embraced not only Afghanistan to its utmost limits, but the Punjab, Kashmir and Turkestan to the Oxus, with Sind, Baluchistan and Khorasan as tributary governments.
Timur transferred his residence from Kandahar to Kabul, and continued during a reign of twenty years to stave off the anarchy which followed close on his death. He left twentythree sons, of whom the fifth, Zaman Mirza,’ by help of Payindah Khan, head of the Barakzai family of the Abdalis, succeeded in grasping the royal power. For many years barbarous wars raged between the brothers, during which Zaman Shah, Shuja-ulMulk and Mahmud successively held the throne. The last owed success to Payindah’s son, Fatteh Khan (known as the “Afghan Warwick”), a man of masterly ability in war and politics, the eldest of twenty-one brothers, a family of notable intelligence and force of character, and many of these he placed over the provinces. Fatteh Khan, however, excited the king’s jealously by his powerful position, and provoked the malignity of the king’s son, Kamran, by a gross outrage on the Saddozai family. He was accordingly seized, blinded and afterwards murdered with prolonged torture, the brutal Kamran striking the first blow.
The Barakzai brothers united to avenge Fatteh Khan. The Saddozais were driven from Kabul, Ghazni and Kandahar, and with difficulty reached Herat (1818). Herat remained thus till Kamran’s death (1842), and after that was held by his able and wicked minister Yar Mahommed. The rest of the country was divided among the Barakzais—Dost Mahommed, the ablest, getting Kabul. Peshawar and the right bank of the Indus fell to the Sikhs after their victory at Nowshera in 1823. The last Afghan hold of the Punjab had been lost long beforr—Kashmir in 1819; Sind had cast off all allegiance since 1808; the Turkestan provinces had been practically independent since the death of Timur Shah.
The First Afghan War, 1838—42.—In 1809, in consequence of the intrigues of Napoleon in Persia, the Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone had been sent as envoy to Shah Shuja, then in power. and had been well received by him at Peshawar. This wasthe first time the Afghans made any acquaintance with Englishmen. Lieut. Alex. Burnes (afterwards Sir Alex. Burnes) visited Kabul on his way to Bokhara in r832. In 1837 the Persian siege of Herat and the proceedings of Russia created uneasiness, and Burnes was sent by the governor-general as resident to the
amir’s court at Kabul. But the terms which the Dost sought were not conceded by the government, and the rash resolution was taken of re-establishing Shah Shuja, long a refugee in British territory. Ranjit Singh, king of the Punjab, bound himself to co-operate, but eventually declined to let the expedition cross his territories.
The war began in March 1838, when the “Army of the Indus," amounting to 21,000 men, assembled in Upper Sind and advanced through the Bolan Pass under the command of Sir John Keane. There was hardship, but scarcely any opposition. Kohandil Khan of Kandahar fled to Persia. That city was occupied in April 1839, and Shah Shuja was crowned in his grandfather’s mosque. Ghazni was reached 21st July; a gate of the city was blown open by the engineers (the match was fired by Lieut., afterwards Sir Henry, Durand), and the place was taken by storm. Dost Mahommed, finding his troops deserting, passed the Hindu Rush, and Shah Shuja entered the capital (August 7). The war was thought at an end, and Sir John Keane (made a peer) returned to India with a considerable part of the force, leaving behind 8000 men, besides the Shah’s force, with Sir W. Macnaghten as envoy, and Sir A. Burnes as his colleague.
During the tWo following years Shah Shuja and his allies remained in possession of Kabul and Kandahar. The British outposts extended to Saighan, in the Oxus basin, and to Mullah Khan, in the plain of Seistan. Dost Mahommed surrendered (November 3, 1840) and was sent to India, where he was honourably treated. From the beginning, insurrection against the new government had been rife. The political authorities were overconfident, and neglected warnings. On the 2nd of November 1841 the revolt broke out violently at Kabul, with the massacre of Burnes and other officers. The position of the British camp, its communications With the citadel and the location of the stores were the worst possible; and the general (Elphinstone) was shattered in constitution. Disaster after disaster occurred, not without misconduct. At a conference (December 23) with the Dost’s son, Akbar Khan, who had taken the lead of the Afghans, Sir W. Macnaghten was murdered by that chief’s own hand. On the 6th of January 1842, after a convention to evacuate the country had been signed, the British garrison, still numbering 4500 soldiers (of whom 690 were Europeans), with some 12,000 followers, marched out of the camp. The winter was severe, the troops demoralised, the march a mass of confusion and massacre, and the force was finally overwhelmed in the Jagdalak pass between Kabul and Jalalabad.
On the 13th the last survivors mustered at Gandamak only twenty muskets. Of those who left Kabul, only Dr Brydon reached Jalalabad, wounded and half dead. Ninety-five prisoners were afterwards recovered. The garrison of Ghazni had already been forced to surrender (December 10). But General Nott held Kandahar with a stern hand, and General Sale, who had reached Jalalabad from Kabul at the beginning of the outbreak, maintained that important point gallantly.
To avenge these disasters and recover the prisoners preparations were made in India on a fitting scale; but it was the 16th of April 1842 before General Pollock could relieve Jalalabad, after forcing the Khyber Pass. After a long halt there he advanced (August 20), and gaining rapid successes, occupied Kabul (September 15), where Nott, after retaking and dismantling Ghazni, joined him two days later. The prisoners were happily recovered from Bamian. The citadel and central bazaar of Kabul were destroyed, and the army finally evacuated Afghanistan, December 1842.
This ill-planned and hazardous enterprise was fraught with the elements of inevitable failure. A ruler imposed upon a free people by foreign arms is always unpopular; he is unable to stand alone; and his foreign auxiliaries soon find themselves obliged to choose between remaining to uphold his power, or retiring with the probability that it will fall after their departure. The leading chiefs of Afghanistan perceived that the maintenance of Shah Shuja’s rule by British troops would soon be fatal to their own power and position in the country, and probably to their national independence. They were insatiable in their demands for oflice and emolument, and when they discovered that the shah, acting by the advice of the British envoy, was levying from among their tribesmen regiments to be directly under his control, they took care that the plan should fail. Without a regular revenue no eflective administration could be organized; but the attempt to raise taxes showed that it might raise the people, so that for both men and money the shah’s government was still obliged to rely principally upon British aid. All these circumstances combined to render the new régime weak and unpopular, since there was no force at the ruler’s command except foreign troops to put down disorder or to protect those who submitted, while the discontented nobles fomented disaflection and the inbred hatred of strangers in race and religion among the general Afghan population.
British and Russian Relations.—It has been said that the
declared object of this policy had been to maintain the independence and integrity of Afghanistan, to secure the friendly alliance of its ruler,_and thus to interpose a great barrier of mountainous country between'the expanding power of Russia in Central Asia and the British dominion in India. After 1849, when the annexation of the Punjab had carried the Indian northwestern frontier up to the skirts of the Afghan highlands, the corresponding advance of the Russians south-eastward along the Oxus river became of closer interest to the British, particularly when, in 18 56, the Persians again attempted to take possession of Herat. Dost Mahommed now became the British ally, but on his death in 1863 the kingdom fell back into civil war, until his son, Shere Ali, had won his way to undisputed rulership in 1868. In the same year Bokhara became a dependency of Russia. To the British government an attitude of non-intervention in Afghan afi'airs appeared in this situation to be no longer possible. The meeting between the amir Shere Ali and the viceroy of India (Lord Mayo) at Umballa in 1869 drew nearer the relations between the two governments; the amir consolidated and began to centralize his power; and the establishment of a strong, friendly and united Afghanistan became again the keynote of British policy beyond the north-western frontier of India. , When, therefore, the conquest of Khiva in 1873 by the Russians, and their gradual approach towards the amir’s horthern border, had seriously alarmed Shere Ali, he applied for support to the British; and his disappointment at his failure to obtain distinct pledges of material assistance, and at Great Britain’s refusal to endorse all his claims in a dispute with Persia over Seistan, so far estranged him from the British connexion that he began to entertain amicable overtures from the Russian authorities at Tashkend. In 1860 the Russian government had assured Lord Clarendon that they regarded Afghanistan as completely outside the sphere of their influence; and in 1872 the boundary line of Afghanistan on the north-west had been settled between England and Russia so far eastward as Lake Victoria.
Nevertheless the correspondence between Kabul and Tashkend continued, and as the Russians were now extending their dominion over all the region beyond Afghanistan on the northwest, the British government determined, in 1876, once more to undertake active measures for securing their political ascendancy in that country. But the amir, whose feelings of resentment had by no means abated, was now leaning toward Russia, though he mainly desired to hold the balance between two equally formidable rivals. The result of overtures made to him from India was that in 1877, when Lord Lytton, acting under direct instructions from Her Majesty’s ministry, proposed to Shere Ali a treaty of alliance, Shere Ali showed himself very little disposed to welcome the offer; and upon his refusal to admit a British agent into Afghanistan the negotiations finally broke down.
Second Afghan War, r878—80.—In the course of the following year (r878) the Russian government, to counteract the interference of England with their advance upon Constantinople, sent an envoy to Kabul empowered to make a treaty with the amir. It was immediately notified to him'from India that a British mission would be deputed to his capital. but he demurred to receiving it; and when the British envoy was turned back
on the Afghan frontier hostilities were proclaimed by the viceroy in November 1878, and the second Afghan War began. Sir Donald Stewart’s force, marching up through Baluchistan by the Bolan Pass, entered Kandahar with little or no resistance; while another army passed through the Khyber Pass and took up positions at Jalalabad and other places on the direct road to Kabul. Another force under Sir Frederick Roberts marched up to the high passes leading out of Kurram into the interior of Afghanistan, defeated the amir’s troops at the Peiwar Kotal, and seized the Shutargardan Pass which commands a direct route to Kabul through the Logar valley. The amir Shere Ali fled from his capital into the northern province, where he died at Mazar-i-Sharif in February 1879. In the course of the next six months there was much desultory skirmishing between the tribes and the British troops, who defeated various attempts to dislodge them from the positions that had been taken up; but the sphere of British military operations was not materially extended. It was seen that the farther they advanced the more difficult would become their eventual retirement; and the problem was to find a successor to Shere Ali who could and would make terms with the British government. '
In the meantime Yakub Khan, one of Shere Ali’s sons, had announced to Major Cavagnari, the political agent at the headquarters of the British army, that he had succeeded his father at Kabul. The negotiations that followed ended in the conclusion of the treaty of Gandamak in May r879, by which Yakub Khan was recognized as amir; certain outlying tracts of Afghanistan were transferred to the British government; the amir placed in its hands the entire control of his foreign relations, receiving in return a guarantee against foreign aggression; and the establishment of a British envoy at Kabul was at last conceded. By this convention the complete success of the British political and military operations seemed to have been attained; for whereas Shere Ali had made a treaty of alliance with, and had received an embassy from Russia, his son had now made an exclusive treaty with the British government, and had agreed that a British envoy should reside permanently at his court. Yet it was just this final concession, the chief and original object of British policy, that proved speedily fatal to the whole settlement. For in September the envoy, Sir Louis Cavagnari, with his staff and escort, was massacred at Kabul, and the entire fabric of a friendly alliance went to pieces. A fresh expedition was instantly despatched across the Shutargardan Pass under Sir Frederick Roberts, who defeated the Afghans at Charasia near Kabul, and entered the city in October. Yakub Khan, who had surrendered, was sent to India; and the British army remained in military occupation of the district round Kabul until in December (r879) its communications with India were interrupted, and its position at the capital placed in serious jeopardy, by a general rising of the tribes. After they had been repulsed and put down, not without some hard fighting, Sir Donald Stewart, who had not quitted Kandahar, brought a force up by Ghazni to Kabul, overcoming some resistance on his way, and assumed the supreme command. Nevertheless the political situation was still embarrassing, for-as the whole country beyond the range of British effective military control was masterless, it was undesirable to withdraw the troops before a government could be reconstructed which could stand without foreign support, and with which diplomatic relations of some kind might be. arranged. The general position and prospect of political affairs in Afghanistan bore, indeed, an instructive resemblance to the situation just forty years earlier, in 1840, . with the important differences that the Punjab and Sind had since become British, and that communications between Kabul and India were this time secure.
Reign of Abdur Rahman—Abdur Rahman, the son of the late amir Shere Ali’s elder brother, had fought against Shere Ali in the war for succession to Dost Mahommed, had been driven beyond the Oxus, and had lived for ten years in exile with the Russians. In March 1880 he came back across the river, and began to establish himself in the northern province of Afghanistan. The viceroy of India, Lord Lytton, on hearing of his