1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Shere Ali Khan

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SHERE ALI KHAN (1825–1879), Amir of Afghanistan, was born in 1825, one of the younger sons of the amir Dost Mahommed, whom he succeeded in 1863. For some time after his succession Afghanistan was in a state of anarchy, and his rebellious half-brothers overran the country while he remained at Kandahar mourning the loss of a favourite son. At length, however, the capture of Kabul in 1866 roused him to action; but in spite of his own bravery he suffered general defeat until 1868, when he regained Kabul. Supported by the viceroys of India, Lord Lawrence and Lord Mayo, Shere Ali remained on good terms with the British government for some years; but after the rebellion of his son Yakub Khan, 1870–74, he leaned towards Russia, and welcomed a Russian agent at Kabul in 1878, and at the same time refused to receive a British mission. This led to long negotiations, and ultimately to war, when the British forced the Khyber Pass in November 1878, and defeated the amir’s forces on every occasion. Shere Ali fled from his capital and, taking refuge in Turkestan, died at Mazar-i-Sharif on the 21st of February 1879.