Zaman Shah Durrani

Zaman Shah Durrani

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Zaman Shah Durrani , ,(c. 1770 – 1844) was ruler of the Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 from 1793 until 1800. He was the grandson of Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

 and the fifth son of Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

. An ethnic Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 like the rest of his family and Durrani rulers, Zaman Shah became the third King of Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...


Early years

He seized the throne of the Durrani Empire on the death of his father, Timur Shah
Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

. He defeated his rivals, his brothers, with the help of Sardar Payenda Khan, chief of the Barakzais
Barakzai dynasty
The Barakzai dynasty ruled Afghanistan from 1826 until 1929 or 1973 when the monarchy rule finally ended under Mohammad Zahir Shah. The Barakzai dynasty was established by Dost Mohammad Khan after the Durrani dynasty of Ahmad Shah Durrani was removed from power...

. He extracted an oath of allegiance from the final challenger, Mahmud, and in return relinquished the governorship of Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

. In so doing, he divided the power base between Herat and his own government in Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, a division which was to remain in place for a century. Kabul was the primary base of power, while Herat maintained a state of quasi-independence. Kandahar was fought over for the spoils.

During his reign he tried to combine his dispersed relatives together who were deported by his father Timur Shah. His uncle Saifullah Khan Durrani, his sons Mohammad Umar, Bashir Ahmad Khan and Shams Ur Rehman, his cousins Faizullah Khan and Abdullah Khan lived in Akora Khattak
Akora Khattak
Akora Khattak is a city along the Peshawar-Rawalpindi road, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.-Birthplace of Khushal Khan Khattak:Akora Khattak is the birth place and burial place of the famous poet Khushal Khan Khattak...

in present day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They were contacted to come back to Afghanistan but without success. Saifullah Khan died in 1779 and after that the family was led by Faizullah Khan but he disliked the bad habits of Abdullah Khan and Bashir Ahmad Khan and left Akora Khattak and went to Bannu
Bannu is the principal city of the Bannu District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is an important road junction and market city. Bannu is a very old city, founded in ancient times; however, the present location of the downtown Bannu was founded by Sir Herbert Edwardes in 1848,...

 without informing his relatives. Later on, after the death of his wife, Abdullah Khan Durrani migrated to Kohat
Kohat is a medium sized town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is located at 33°35'13N 71°26'29E with an altitude of 489 metres and is the capital of Kohat District. The town centres around a British-era fort, various bazaars, and a military cantonment. A British-built narrow gauge...

 in 1791 where he married a widow, Pashmina.

Zaman Shah tried his best to recombine his family members and relatives so as to gain power but many of them were living an unknown life. Some of them have even been forgotten their identity.

He attempted to repeat his father's success in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, but his attempts at expansion brought him into conflict with the British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

. The British induced the Shah of Persia
Qajar dynasty
The Qajar dynasty was an Iranian royal family of Turkic descent who ruled Persia from 1785 to 1925....

 to invade Durrani, thwarting his plans by forcing him to protect his own lands.

In his own lands things went well for Zaman, at least initially. He was able to force Mahmud from Herat and into a Persian exile. However, Mahmud established an alliance with Fateh Khan
Fateh Khan
Fateh Khan is a town and union council of Dera Ghazi Khan District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is located at 31°4'0N 70°43'0E and has an altitude of 140 metres .-References:...

, with whose support he was able to strike back in 1800, and Zaman had to flee toward Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

. But he never made it; on the way, he was captured, blinded and imprisoned in Kabul, in the Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar is an ancient fortress located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The estimated date of construction is around the 5th century A.D. Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city centre at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain...

. Little information about the rest of his life is available, but he was probably imprisoned for nearly 40 years, until his death, during which time Afghanistan continued to experience much political turmoil.

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