1899 in Afghanistan
Not for many years has Afghanistan been less disturbed than this year. Few tribal risings occur and the amir Abdor Rahman continues to express friendly relations with Britain. Yet there is a disquieting rumour that Russia is preparing to advance on Herat in certain eventualities, and that an experimental mobilization of Russian troops from Tiflis to Kushk (some sixty miles from Herat) was made at the close of the year. The amir keeps up a friendly correspondence with the viceroy, Lord Curzon, during the year, and the relations between Afghanistan and the Indian government were never more cordial.
March 1, 1899
Capt. George Roos-Keppel makes a sudden attack on a predatory band of Chamkannis that have been raiding in the Kurram Valley and captures 100 prisoners with 3,000 head of cattle. These raids, though tiresome, are, however, of no political importance.
In consequence of repeated outrages committed by the Waziris, and especially because of the murder of Col. E.H. le Marchant of the Hampshire Regiment, the Indian government orders the partial disarmament of the Peshawar division, and of all trans-border Pashtuns at the frontier, and the disarmament of all persons without licenses in all municipalities and cantonments within the division.
In spite of punitive measures, the Waziri robbers continue their lawless attacks, chiefly with a view to cattle raiding.
In accordance with the frontier policy of the viceroy, all regular troops are withdrawn from the Khyber Pass to Peshawar, leaving the forts and posts in the pass to be guarded by the Khyber Rifles. Complete tranquillity prevails in consequence, and the Afridis and other local tribes are thereby convinced that the government has no idea of annexing their territory or of placing British garrisons over the border.