Connecting Histories in Afghanistan: Market Relations and State Formation on a Colonial Frontier

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Instead, he decreed that Pakistani trucks should unload at the border and their goods be carried to their destinations only by Afghan trucks — a practice that Pakistan has been doing since the establishment of APTTA in with respect to trade between Afghanistan and India over the Wagah crossing.

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It is true that the persistence of the trust deficit between Afghanistan and Pakistan has signaled both countries to reexamine their geo-economic policies and look for alternative routes for their trade. On the other hand, Afghanistan has also expanded its trade routes and partners in the region and beyond. The neighbors are intertwined economically to such a degree that, at least in the short term, it is unlikely that either could find a lucrative alternative trade route or partner.

The geographic proximity and the relatively low production costs for their respective exported goods help reduce the overall trade costs between the two countries. This economic and geographic interdependence and mutual gains should compel Afghanistan and Pakistan to immediately reinstate trade and transit and keep it isolated from political tensions. Furthermore, the South Asian Free Trade Area SAFTA — a regional trade agreement between eight South Asian countries that was established in with the intention to promote and enhance trade and economic integration through tariff concessions — has almost failed to achieve its goals.

Instead, over the last few years, numerous bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral trade agreements have been signed, making the renewal and further extension of APTTA inevitable and a most viable option. There may be many reasons that hindered the implementation of SAFTA: non-cooperation among members due to political disagreements, especially between Pakistan and India; the inability of SAFTA and SAARC to play a role as a regional body due, to some extent, its inadequate institutional structures; and security fears as well as poor infrastructure connecting, or failing to connect, the countries in the region.

The APTTA also gave ordinary households access to a wider basket of imported goods and services, leading to a drop in prices for goods. According to a report for the fiscal year , more than 84, containers of goods traveled across the border that have directly or indirectly supported the livelihood of millions of people in both the countries.

There is not only a mutual need to immediately renew the APTTA, but also to extend it to neighboring countries. The agreement would better serve the goal of regional and cross-regional integration if it could be renegotiated and transformed into a transit corridor between Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Tajikistan. Its realization would not be difficult if trust among Afghanistan, Pakistan and India could be reestablished. In fact, India, along with Tajikistan, has showed interest for such a quadrilateral agreement, but Pakistan, while implicitly accepting the inclusion of Tajikistan, has explicitly refused the appeals for the inclusion of India in the treaty.

Due to the prevalence of chronic poverty and the threat of terrorism in South Asia, it is to the mutual benefit of all SAARC member countries to work together for a stronger regional integration. More economic and trade links would reduce poverty directly by affecting growth and income as well as acting indirectly by increasing trade volume, investment and employment opportunities. Each country should accomplish trade liberalization and, more importantly, devise mechanisms for trade facilitation by minimizing tariffs and removing all barriers to trade.

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They may collect and use personal data as described in their respective policies. In , the Mughal ruler was induced to cede Sindh , the Punjab region and the important trans Indus River to Ahmad Shah in order to save his capital from Afghan attack. Ahmad Shah next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush mountains. In short order, the powerful army brought under its control the Tajik , Hazara , Uzbek , Turkmen , and other tribes of northern Afghanistan.

Ahmad Shah invaded the remnants of the Mughal Empire a third time, and then a fourth, consolidating control over the Kashmir and Punjab regions, with Lahore being governed by Afghans. He sacked Delhi in but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control of the city as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shah's suzerainty over Punjab, Sindh, and Kashmir. Alarmed by the expansion of China's Qing Dynasty up to the eastern border of Kazakhstan, Ahmad Shah attempted to rally neighboring Muslim khanates and the Kazakhs to unite and attack China, ostensibly to liberate its western Muslim subjects.

The Mughal power in northern India had been declining since the reign of Aurangzeb , who died in Marathas were now straining to expand their area of control towards the Northwest of India. Ahmad Shah sacked the Mughal capital and withdrew with the booty he coveted. He defeated the Rohillas and Afghan garrisons in Punjab and succeeded in ousting Timur Shah and his court from India and brought Lahore, Multan, Kashmir and other subahs on the Indian side of Attock under Maratha rule.

Ahmad Shah declared a jihad or Islamic holy war against the Marathas , and warriors from various Afghan tribes joined his army, including the Baloch people under the command of Khan of Kalat Mir Nasir I of Kalat. Suba Khan Tanoli Zabardast Khan was selected as army chief of all military forces. Early skirmishes were followed by victory for the Afghans against the much larger Maratha garrisons in Northwest India and by Ahmad Shah and his army had reached Lahore and were poised to confront the Marathas. Ahmad Shah Durrani was famous for winning wars much larger than his army.

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By , the Maratha groups had coalesced into a big enough army under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau. Once again, Panipat was the scene of a confrontation between two warring contenders for control of northern India. The Third Battle of Panipat 14 January , fought between largely Muslim and largely Hindu armies was waged along a twelve-kilometer front. Despite decisively defeating the Marathas, what might have been Ahmad Shah's peaceful control of his domains was disrupted by many challenges. As far as losses are concerned, Afghans too suffered heavily in the Third Battle of Panipat.

This weakened his grasp over Punjab which fell to the rising Sikh misls. There were rebellions in the north in the region of Bukhara. He received the news of the defeat of Panipat on 24 January at Bhilsa , while leading a reinforcement force. Besides several important generals, he had lost his own son Vishwasrao in the Battle of Panipat. He died on 23 June , and was succeeded by his younger son Madhav Rao I. The victory at Panipat was the high point of Ahmad Shah's—and Afghan—power.

However, even prior to his death, the empire began to unravel. In , Ahmad Shah crossed the passes from Afghanistan for the sixth time to subdue the Sikhs. From this time and on, the domination and control of the Empire began to loosen, and by the time of Durrani's death he had completely lost Punjab to the Sikhs, as well as earlier losses of northern territories to the Uzbeks, necessitating a compromise with them. He assaulted Lahore and, after taking their holy city of Amritsar , massacred thousands of Sikh inhabitants, destroying their revered Golden Temple.

Ahmad Shah tried several more times to subjugate the Sikhs permanently, but failed. Ahmad Shah retired to his home in the mountains east of Kandahar, where he died on April 14, Afghanistan portal. Ahmad Shah 's successors governed so ineptly during a period of profound unrest that within fifty years of his death, the Durrani empire per se was at an end, and Afghanistan was embroiled in civil war.

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Much of the territory conquered by Ahmad Shah fell to others in this half century. By , the Sadozai rulers who succeeded Ahmad Shah controlled little more than Kabul and the surrounding territory within a kilometer radius. They not only lost the outlying territories but also alienated other tribes and lineages among the Durrani Pashtuns. Ahmad Shah was succeeded by his son, Timur Shah, who had been deputed to administer his father's conquests in Northern India, but had been driven out by the Marathas.

Upon Ahmad Shah's death, the Durrani chieftains only reluctantly accepted Timur's accession. Most of his reign was spent fighting a civil war and resisting rebellion; Timur was even forced to move his capital from Kandahar to Kabul due to the insurgency. Timur Shah proved an ineffectual ruler, during whose reign the Durrani empire began to crumble.

He is notable for having had 24 sons, several of whom became rulers of the Durrani territories. Timur died in and was then succeeded by his fifth son Zaman Shah. After the death of Timur Shah, three of his sons, the governors of Kandahar, Herat and Kabul, contended for the succession. Zaman Shah , governor of Kabul, held the field by virtue of being in control of the capital, and became shah at the age of twenty-three.

Many of his half-brothers were imprisoned on their arrival in the capital for the purpose, ironically, of electing a new shah. The quarrels among Timur's descendants that through Afghanistan into turmoil also provided the pretext for the interventions of outside forces. The efforts of the Sadozai heirs of Timur to impose a true monarchy on the truculent Pashtun tribes, and their efforts to rule absolutely and without the advice of the other major Pashtun tribal leaders, were ultimately unsuccessful.

The Sikhs started to rise under the command of Sikh chief, Ranjit Singh , who succeeded in wresting power from Zaman's forces. Later when Zaman was blinded by his brother, Ranjit Singh who gave him asylum in Punjab. Zaman's downfall was triggered by his attempts to consolidate power. Although it had been through the support of the Barakzai chief, Painda Khan Barakzai, that he had come to the throne, Zaman soon began to remove prominent Barakzai leaders from positions of power and replace them with men of his own lineage, the Sadozai.

This upset the delicate balance of Durrani tribal politics that Ahmad Shah had established and may have prompted Painda Khan and other Durrani chiefs to plot against the shah. Painda Khan and the chiefs of the Nurzai and the Alizai Durrani clans were executed, as was the chief of the Qizilbash clan. Painda Khan's son fled to Iran and pledged the substantial support of his Barakzai followers to a rival claimant to the throne, Zaman's younger brother, Mahmud Shah.

The clans of the chiefs Zaman had executed joined forces with the rebels, and they took Kandahar without bloodshed. Zeman Shah's overthrow in was not the end of civil strife in Afghanistan, but the beginning of even greater violence. Mahmud Shah's first reign lasted for only two years before he was replaced by Shuja Shah. On June 7, , Shuja Shah signed a treaty with the British , which included a clause stating that he would oppose the passage of foreign troops through his territories.

This agreement, the first Afghan pact with a European power, stipulated joint action in case of Franco -Persian aggression against Afghan or British dominions. Only a few weeks after signing the agreement, Shuja was deposed by his predecessor, Mahmud. Much later, he was reinstated by the British, ruling during — Two of his sons also ruled for a brief period in Mahmud's second reign lasted nine years.

Mahmud alienated the Barakzai, especially Fateh Khan, the son of Painda Khan, who was eventually seized and blinded. Ali Shah was another son of Timur Shah. He seized power for a brief period in — He was himself later deposed, and presumably killed in The loss of Kashmir during his reign opened a new chapter in South Asian history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the "Durrani Empire". For the Durrani dynasty, see Durrani dynasty. For people with the surname Durrani, see Durrani disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification.