Wazir Akbar Khan
|Wazir Akbar Khan
وزير اکبر خان
|Emir of Afghanistan|
An old drawing of Wazir Akbar Khan
|Emir of Afghanistan|
|Predecessor||Shuja Shah Durrani|
|Successor||Dost Mohammad Barakzai|
|Burial||Blue Mosque, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan|
|Father||Dost Mohammad Barakzai|
|Mother||Mermən Khadija Popalzai|
Wazīr Akbar Khān (1816–1845; Pashto: وزير اکبر خان), born as Mohammad Akbar Khān (محمد اکبر خان) and also known as Amīr Akbar Khān (امير اکبر خان), was an Afghan prince, general, and finally emir for about three years until his death. His fame began with the 1837 Battle of Jamrud, while attempting to regain Afghanistan's second capital Peshawar from the Sikh army of British Punjab.
Wazir Akbar Khan was militarily active in the First Anglo-Afghan War, which lasted from 1839 to 1842. He is prominent for his leadership of the national party in Kabul from 1841 to 1842, and his massacre of Elphinstone's army at the Gandamak pass before the only survivor, the assistant surgeon William Brydon, reached the besieged garrison at Jalalabad on 13 January 1842. Wazir Akbar Khan became the emir of Afghanistan in May 1842, and ruled until his death in 1845.
Akbar was born as Mohammad Akbar Khan in 1816 to Emir Dost Mohammad Barakzai of Afghanistan and Mermən Khadija Popalzai. Dost Mohammad Barakzai had 2 wives, 8 sons (including Wazir Akbar Khan) and 2 daughters.
In 1836 Dost Mohammad Barakzai's Muslim forces, under the command of his son Wazir Akbar Khan, fought the Sikhs at the Battle of Jamrud, fifteen kilometers west of present-day Peshawar. Dost Mohammad Barakzai did not follow up this triumph by retaking Peshawar, however, but instead contacted Lord Auckland, the new British governor general in India, for help in dealing with the Sikhs. With this letter, Dost Mohammad formally set the stage for British intervention in Afghanistan. At the heart of the Great Game lay the willingness of Britain and Russia to subdue, subvert, or subjugate the small independent states that lay between them.
Akbar Khan led a revolt in Kabul against the British Indian mission of William McNaughten, Alexander Burnes and their garrison of 4,500 men. In November 1841, he besieged Major-General William Elphinstone's force in Kabul.
Elphinstone accepted a safe-conduct for his British force and about 12,000 Indian camp followers to Peshawar; they were ambushed and annihilated in January 1842. It was claimed in at least one set of British war memoirs that, during the retreat, Akbar Khan could be heard alternately commanding his men, in Persian to desist from, and in Pashto to continue, firing.
Historians think it unlikely that Akbar Khan wished for the total annihilation of the British-led Indian force. An astute man politically, he would have been aware that allowing the British-led Indians to extricate themselves from Afghanistan would give him the time to consolidate his control of the diverse hill tribes; whereas a massacre of 16,500 people, of which only about a quarter were a fighting force, would not be tolerated back in London and would result in another, larger army sent to exact retribution. This was in fact what happened the following year.
In May 1842, Akbar Khan captured Bala Hissar in Kabul and became the new emir of Afghanistan. He ruled until his death in 1845. Some[who?] believe that Akbar Khan was poisoned by his father, Dost Mohammed Barakzai, who feared his ambitions.
- Adamec, Ludwig W. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan. Scarecrow Press. p. xxi. ISBN 0-8108-7957-3. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
- "THE GREAT GAME". Library of Congress Country Studies. 1997. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- Christopher Buyers. "Afghanistan, The Barakzai dynasty, genealogy". The Royal Ark. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
- Hopkirk, Peter. The Great Game. Oxford University Press, (1990), p263-264, ISBN 0-19-282799-5.
- "Biography: Mohammad Akbar Khan". Afghanistan Online. 2001. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
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Shuja Shah Durrani
|Emir of Afghanistan
Dost Mohammad Khan