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    Zaman Shah Durrani

Reign of Zaman Shah (1793-1801)


Zaman Shah DurraniAfter the death of Timur Shah in 1793 he left behind 36 children and 24 sons. Amongst the 24 Zaman Shah was Timur's favorite and has acted as Timur Shah's replacement while his father was out of the capital. To avoid any instability and a quarrel over the throne he jailed his brothers with the exception of Prince Homayoon who was in Herat who subsequently fled to Baluschistan.

 

Zaman Shah's ambitions was to make the Kingdom of Afghanistan a center of of Art, learning and civilization as well as cultural and military power in Asia. While France, Britain and Russia were battling in Europe, Zaman Shah would create a great army to invade India and keep the Europeans out of the subcontinent. Payenda Khan, the kings Wazir did not approve of his ambition to expand the kingdom to include India. With Zaman Shah's power increasing daily, the Persian empire was uneasy to see a powerful Wazir Fateh Khan the KingmakerAfghanistan to their east and has armed Zaman Shah's brother, Homayoon to rebel against the kingdom of Afghanistan and destabilize the kingdom. Homayoon attacked Kandahar from Persia and was no match for the Great army of Zaman Shah and he was captured, blinded and imprisoned in the Bala Hisar

 

Zaman Shah began planning his invasion of India and amassed a huge quantity of equipment while his brother Mahmood with the help of the Persians and the British had aspiration to become king while Persians and the British sought a weaker and defragmented Afghanistan to diminish their challenge to India.

 

In 1799 several tribal elders had gathered in Kandahar to elect a new king to replace Zaman Shah who had greater ambitions than that of the tribes. They had selected Zaman Shah's brother, Prince Shuja as the new king of Afghanistan. While hearing this news Zaman ShahMahmood Shah Durrani arrested the plotters council and executed them on the crimes of dethroning the King of Afghanistan while other fled the kingdom. This action furthered delayed Zaman Shah's ambition to expand his kingdom and power.

 

While in exile, Fateh Khan whose father Payenda Khan was a great wazir in the kingdom had joined forces with Mahood Khan to fight against Zaman Shah and stop his expansionist ideas and rather pay more homage and attention to local tribes of area. Zaman Shah had grown tired of the tribal system and sought the end of tribalism in Afghanistan which did not set well with the chiefs. Zaman Shah is a gesture of friendship, sent the grandsons of King Nadir Shah of Persia whom he had held prisoner back to Mashad in response to friendly relationship with the Afghan Kingdom.

 

In 1800 Zaman Shah began his invasion of India and while in India, His brother Mahmood Joined his forces with Fateh Khan and received further aid from the Persians and the British to defeat Zaman Shah and declare Mahmood Khan king of Afghanistan. With the support of disfranchised tribal chiefs, the gates of the kingdom was opened and Mahmood Was declared the king of Afghanistan. Upon hearing this news, Zaman Shah hurried back to Kabul to raise an army to fight Mahmood Khan but the Chindawoli force in Kabul had already made a pact with Mahmood Khan and defeated the forces of Zaman Shah. Being defenseless Zaman Shah fled to Jalalabad where he was captured by Fateh Khan and by the order of Mahmood Khan, Zaman Shah was blinded and imprisoned in the Bala Hisar prison in Kabul. Prince Mahmood was declared Shah Mahmood Khan Durrani in 1801.

 

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