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   Habibullah Kalakani

Bandit King Habibullah KalakaniHabibullah Kalakani (The Bandit King)  was born in 1890s in Kohistan area north of Kabul, Afghanistam.


At a young age Habibullah was a rebel. His father, a water carrier had sent him to local madrassa to study and learn Quran, it was there were his rift with the Local Mullah caused him to burn his house and fled the scene. According to his own word, He sat on a hill watched his house burn down and it was satisfying"

During his teens Habibullah ventures outside his village and travels to Kabul and later to Jalalabad and Peshawar where he finds odd jobs just to survive. It was in the south where he runs into an old sufi who tells young Habibullah that he would become king one day and hands him an amulet to keep for good luck. in 1919 He returns back to Kabul and joins Amanullah Khans army. The lack of good pay and His disobedience and unwilling to follow orders finds Habibullah back to his village in Kohistan.

In Kohistan he earns money buy robbing the caravans that cross the silk road between china and middle east and Europe. It is here where Habibullah uses his army training and guerilla tactics to perfect his siege of highly protected caravans. With his new wealth, he accumulates new respect and is considered a Khan of his village.

Amanullah Khan in England 1920sBy 1928 Amanullah had returned from Europe and brought with his vast social and cultural changes. All citizens of Afghanistan were to wear western clothes. This and pictures of the Queen of Afghanistan in western attire, and without a headscarf had upset the ultra conservative shinwari tribe and they had called for the Banishment of the King and the Queen from Afghanistan. A full revolt broke in Laghman and Amanullah poured his troops to quell the unrest. Habibullah was beginning to resist the government officials in the north and thus $10,000 reward was placed on Habibullahs head, dead or alive. With Amanullah's army engulfed in severe battle in Laghman and Jalalabad, Habibullah began to attack Kabul from the north. His mission was to disgrace Amanullah and show him as a weak king full of bluff. The revolt catches steam and by now the whole country is standing up against the king. Kabul is surrounded by the Tribes in the south and Habibullah's gang to the north.

In the Middle of the Night Amanullah hands over his kingdom to his brother Enayatullah Khan and escapes Kabul towards Kandahar in his Rolls Royce. Habibullah and his band chases amnullah Khan on horseback but they are no match for the royal car.

With the King gone, in January of 1929, Habibullah writes a letter to King Enayatullah to either surrender or prepare to fight. Enayatullah's response was that he had never sought nor wishes to be king and agreed to abdicate and proclaim Habibullah king. Habibullah writes in his biography; " I was no Amanullah Khan, nor a Mohammadzai Sardar, i didn't know how to act royal, I was a thief who became king." Habibullah marries a Mohammadzai woman from the royal family which he had captured, in order to teach him how to act royal.

His first order was to change all the western attire back to traditional clothing and to remove all the flowers from the presidential grounds and plant vegetables instead.

Habibullah Kalakani and His BrotherAmanullah stops in Kandahar to regroup, he calls his top General Mohammad Nadir Khan from Europe. By September 1929 General Nadir Khan army has breezed through the west and southern Afghanistan and is fast approaching Kabul. The one man whom Habibullah feared is coming for him. By October 1929, Kabul is surrounded by forces of Nadir Khan and Habibullah escapes Kabul to return to his village in Kohistan as a fugitives.

In Kohistan, Habibullah is manipulating his next move when the villagers surround him, and begin to stone him till he is unconscious. Jamal Gul, Habibullah's confidant and biographer tells the rest as follows:

Bacha i Saqao as he is referred to by his adversaries, finds himself in a chamber in Kabul. "what do you have to say Bachai Saqao? ..Guilty or not Guilty? " shouts an officer. Habibullah laughs at the officers and the people gathered who took their jobs too seriously. Habibullah spits on the ground and says "my answer is there for all to see" He is later taken to the execution ground. He was made to kneel and make his peace with God. Habibullah looks up and says " i have nothing to ask God, he is given me everything i have wanted, God has made me King" as he smiles before a firing squad.

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