On 19 August, a hundred years passed since Afghanistan obtained freedom from the British. A century ago and as a result of their lengthy struggle, the Afghan Mujahideen gained freedom from British imperialism and thus did Afghanistan become a country that served to encourage other subjugated nations to obtain freedom from Western colonialists too.
British Imperialist Aggression Against Afghanistan:
In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani laid the foundation of modern day Afghanistan and during his 26-year reign, he expanded the borders of Afghanistan up to Mashhad to the west, the Arabian Sea to the south, India to the east and Bukhara to the north. His sons then protected these borders but the beginning of the 19th century saw fighting take place between the Sadozai and Muhammadzai tribes because of which the country’s borders became limited.
After dominating American, African and Australian peninsulas, the British imperialists set their sights on the Indian subcontinent with the East India Company. In the 18th century Muslim rule was toppled in Deccan and Mysore. At this point the British and the Sikhs under Ranjeet Singh together occupied all of the Subcontinent and began attempting to bring the same fate to the last fort of the Muslims, Afghanistan.
First Attack of the Imperialists on Afghanistan:
In 1818, Sudozai prince Kamran killed Wazir Fateh Khan because of which anarchy spread throughout the country. Fateh Khan’s brothers fought a war in revenge against Prince Kamran and obtained control over the entire country with the exception of Herat. Rule shifted from the Sudozai to the Muhammadzai tribe and Ameer Muhammad Khan became ruler.
The British imperialists together with the Sikhs took to interfering in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and in 1839 made the excuse of bringing to power the fugitive Sudozai prince, Shah Shuja. A large army was prepared and set forth to attack Afghanistan which included 54,150 armed soldiers provided with horses, elephants and camels. This army – accompanying Shah Shuja including Alexander Burnes and British envoy Macnaghten – headed from India to Shikarpur and made an incursion Kandahar via Balouchistan. After occupying Ghazni, it reached Kabul in August 1839. Shah Shuja was appointed as puppet ruler while all powers of government remained with the British. The British imperialists established military bases in Kandahar, Ghazni, Jalalabad and Kabul. Meanwhile, the ulema of Afghanistan issued a fatwa for jihad against the British and called upon the public that they keep away from them. During this time the public began their resistance.
Abdullah Khan Ahmedzai, Naeb Ameenullah Logari, Mir Masjidi Khan, Wazir Muhammad Akbar Khan, Ghazi Mehrab Khan Baloch, Muhammad Shah Khan Babukar Khel and other jihadi leaders conducted attacks against the British troops in Kabul, Kandahar, Ghazni and Jalalabad. In Kabul, Wazir Akbar Khan killed British envoy Macnaghten while Alexander Burnes was killed inside his home. The seventeen thousand soldiers of the British army fled toward Nangarhar in an attempt to reach Peshawar via the Khyber Pass. The Mujahideen continued to pursue them nonetheless and in Lataband Pass the British army was laid siege to and all soldiers put to the sword. Out of the seventeen thousand wretched soldiers only one military doctor, William Brydon, reached Jalalabad in a wounded condition. After the defeat of the British army, the Mujahideen killed the slave of the English, Shah Shuja, as well. And thus did the British suffer defeat at their very first attempt at aggression against Afghanistan, and it was indeed a historic defeat.
Second British Attack:
In 1879, Ameer Sher Ali Khan was Afghanistan’s ruler. The British desired to seize control of Afghanistan and direct its foreign policy however Ameer Sher Ali Khan was unwilling to compromise on the country’s independence, causing much disturbance to the English to the point of their willingness to go to war.
Thousands imperialist British soldiers attacked Afghanistan from Nangarhar, Paktia and Kandahar and occupied the country’s southern provinces. Ameer Sher Ali Khan went north from Kabul to seek Russian help but became ill upon reaching Balkh province and passed away in route. After his death, the public appointed his son Yaqub Khan as the ruler. The British occupied Kabul and forced Yaqub Khan to strike an agreement of slavery with them. According to this agreement, Yaqub Khan not only withdrew claims to usurped land from Greater Afghanistan but also handed over foreign policy powers to the British and could not independently form friendship or enmity with any country. This agreement remained enacted after Yaqub Khan in the eras of both Ameer Abdul Rahman and Habibullah Khan.
After forty years in 1919, following the death of Habibullah Khan, the public raised the flag of jihad against the British under the leadership of the ulema and thus did an armed jihad begin in Nangarhar, Paktia and Kandahar. Ghazi Ayub Khan came from Herat and attacked British soldiers in Maiwand in Kandahar and in Paktia the Mujahideen delivered defeat to the invaders under the leadership of Nadir Khan. Advancing toward Kurram agency a British military base was surrounded. The British eventually announced to exit all soldiers from Afghanistan and in 1919 the Afghan people announced winning their freedom.
Following the British defeat, the Afghan people fought the Soviet Union for their freedom in the twentieth century and today in the twenty-first century, under the leadership of the Islamic Emirate, the Afghan nation is once again close to obtaining its freedom from the Pharaoh of the era, America. Allah Willing, the next year will witness the Afghans celebrating freedom from three tyrant powers within one year. And in an independent Islamic country, under the shade of Shariah, they will offer prayers and thank Allah for the blessing of freedom once again.