Afghanistan Early History Part V

By | December 16, 2021

His loyalty to England during the European war made us forget that, in the early years, Ḥabīb Ullāh’s relations with India were strained, following the protection that the emir, bigoted, granted to religious leaders of the frontier, arousing troubles, and also a too large import of German artillery through India. Only in 1905 was a treaty similar to that of 1980 signed. The visit of the emir to the viceroy in 1907 brought back the cordiality. In the same year the Anglorussian Convention was concluded: Russia declared Afghānistān outside its sphere of influence, and undertook not to have relations with it, except through England. This undertook not to annex Afghānistān and not to interfere with its internal affairs; the two governments recognized equal treatment in trade with Afghānistān, and established that the respective border authorities would enter into direct relations. The convention was to come into effect when the emir gave his consent, which was never given.

From 1908 to 1914 Afghānistān lived quietly; in this period schools are established, telegraphs and telephones are installed, roads and canals are built. For Afghanistan 2002, please check

When the European war broke out, the British government urged the emir to remain neutral, and he committed himself to it, provided that the security and independence of Afghānistān were respected. The intervention of Turkey did not induce him to change his conduct, and in 1915-16 he was able to resist the offers of a Turkish-German military mission, which also included Indian revolutionaries. He also worked to keep Indian border tribes in check; in the judgment of the English his fidelity was perfect.

The Afghāni, however, were not satisfied with the sovereign. He was prodigal; passionate about sports, photography, cooking, women, he neglected the state. A Europeanizing reader of foreign newspapers, he had commissioned Maḥmūd Tarzī Bey, a cultured Afghan who lived in Syria and Turkey, to print the weekly Sir āǵ -i akhb ā r, which contributed to the penetration of young Turkish doctrines into Afghānistān. Then youth groups and secret societies arose: advanced ideas and Muslim fanaticism coexisted there and were equally contrary to the emir’s policy. The defeat of Turkey, which in the opinion of many could have been avoided if Ḥabīb Ullāh had attacked India, turned a large part of public opinion against him (compare the Italian situation of 1914-15). The emir received threatening letters from revolutionaries, in 1818 he escaped an attack, on February 20, 1919, during a hunting party near Laghman, he was murdered in his tent.

Kingdom of Am ā h Ull ā h. – The firstborn of the emir, ‛Ināyat Ullāh, who was in Gelālābād with his uncle Naṣr Ullāh, ceded his rights to the throne to him, and the garrison proclaimed him. Meanwhile in Kābul the third-born Amān Ullāh, who in the absence of his father was governor of the capital, presented himself to the troops, promised to avenge Saab Ullāh and achieve the independence of the country, increased their pay and was proclaimed emir. The news of his provisions in favor of the army and the consolidation of his position in Kābul led the Gelālābād garrison to declare itself for Amān Ullāh; his uncle and brother withdrew, a colonel found guilty of the murder (which has never been fully revealed) was executed.

In April Amān Ullāh proclaimed independence and sent a diplomatic mission to Moscow.

Third AFGH war ā na. – The Anglo-Afghan war broke out on May 8, 1919. It was inevitable: the Afghāni wanted it, the end of Ḥabīb Ullāh represented a terrible warning for the successor, the correspondence with the government of India, after the proclamation of independence, she had grown sour. The moment, moreover, was propitious for Afghānistān: India had recently demobilized, Pangiāb was in revolt. To what extent there was connivance between the official Kabul and the Indian revolutionaries, it is difficult to say. The usual border incident inaugurated hostilities.

The war lasted twenty days, and took place on a front of 800 km., From Khaibar to Belūcistān. On May 28, the Emir asked for the cessation of hostilities, and the English accepted. It seems that the advantages on the two sides were equal, rather they were on the side of the English. They justified their decision to conclude the peace with deficiencies in the transport of food and medicines, with cholera, with heat. It also appears that the mutiny in Wana of militias provided by frontier tribes, Afrīdī and Wazīrī, had forced the British to change all war plans. The internal conditions of India were certainly not unrelated to the decision.

What Afghānistān’s maximum program was, besides the recognition of independence, can only be speculated. In the manifesto that opened the hostilities Amān Ullāh spoke of the injustices committed by England to the detriment of the Indians, and also in correspondence with the viceroy during the hostilities he posed as defender of India. The peace negotiations were long and laborious; the treaty signed on 8 August 1919 in Rāwal Pindī contained the following conditions: the frontier prior to hostilities is re-established, England recognizes the right to import weapons and war material to Afghānistān, the English financial subsidy to Afghānistān is abolished, it is agreed to resume negotiations for a treaty after six months. The formal recognition of Afghan independence.

Afghanistan Early History Part V