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Dost Mohammad Khan Founder of Barakzay Dynasty

Afghanistan has a vast history and the most part of it pertains to Persian Empire while the Greek’s and Arab’s also ruled in this region. Under the Kushan Dynasty in 2nd century AD this region was linked with the northern plains of India.

The foundation of modern Afghanistan was placed in 1747 when the Nadir Shah’s army was returned home after his death. After him Ahmed Khan Abdali was elected as the King of Afghanistan by tribal assembly. He changed the name of his tribe to “Durrani” and named the region as “Durr-i-Durran”.

Dost Mohammad 1818 to 1838

In 1818 Kabul was invaded by an Afghani Tribe named Barakzai. This tribe was led by Dost Mohammad who was the twentieth son of the tribal chieftain. Till 1826 the country observed the civil war between Barakzai and some supporters of Durrani but after that it was divided between Dost Mohammad and some of his brothers.

Dost Mohammad had the greatest share after this division. His regime was stretched from Ghazni to Jalalabad including Kabul. After sometime he was accepted as the leader of the nation and took the title of Amir in 1837. He was warmheartedly accepted in this role by Afghan Tribes as well as foreigners. By that time Russia was keenly interested in building strong ties with Afghanistan as by doing so, he can have a direct trading link with India. But the British had their own fears and that’s why they invaded Afghanistan in 1838 with the intention of restoring the rule of Durrani Dynasty.

First Anglo-Afghan War: 1838 to 1842

In December 1838, the British army assembled in India for entering Afghanistan. The tribal guerrillas defended this invasion with full zest but the British captured the city of Kandahar in April 1839. Here Shah Shuja from the Durrani Dynasty was crowned as a ruler. After 4 months Kabul was also taken and Shah Shuja was crowned again.

Till the end of 1840 Dost Muhammad (who was the rightful leader of Afghanistan) was prisoned and his family exiled to India. By that time, British garrisons figured it out that it is difficult to control these proud tribesmen and that’s why they withdraw approximatly 4500 troops from Kabul in January 1842 while leaving Shah Shuja to his fate who was assassinated soon after it. Most of the troops who tried to regain the safety of India never reached there and were killed.

Restoring Dost Mohammad’s Throne 1842-1863

In the summer of 1842 British Army recaptures Kabul and they decided to restore Dost Mohammad to his throne. He returned in 1843 from India and ruled peacefully for another twenty years without any foreign interference. He also signed treaties of friendship with the British in 1855 & 1857. In June 1863 his forces under the command of his son-in law, captured the city of Herat. A few days of this victory he passed away.

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