Hari Singh Nalwa's Afghan campaigns

Hari Singh Nalwa's Afghan campaigns

Posted in the Sikh Forum

come on

India

#1 Mar 11, 2009
Hari Singh Nalua's one of many significant military campaign was that of Kasur, the so called 'mythological rival of Lahore', in 1807 A.D. Hari Singh Nalua along with Sardar Jodh singh Ramgarhia, Sardar Nihal Singh Attari,Baba Akali Phula Singh, Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, Dhanna singh Malwai, and Sardar Fateh singh Kalianwala marched on to Kasur to subjugate its Afghani owner Kutab-ud-din Khan. Sikhs laid siege for three months after which Kutab-ud-din Khan surrendered. Hari Singh Nalua, of course, was the first to march inside the city gate of Kasur with his division called 'Sher-Dil-Rajman.' The troops under him caught Kutab-Ud-Din alive and presented him before Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh made him retire to a territory of Mamdot as a jagir, subject to his supplying 100 horsemen for service when required.
Hari Singh Nalua's another significant military achievement was the conquest of Multan. before annexing Multan in 1818 A.D., six expeditions were sent by the suzrain of Lahore. Resultantly tribute was collected everytime, annextion was never visualized and attempted. Hari Singh contributed in all of these six campaigns as well as conquest of Multan. Multan had a great commercial and strategic importance having been the gateway of Afghanistan. It is stated that working boats from the Jhelum, Ravi and Chenab were forced to work for invariable supply of provisions. Illahi Bux of the artillery forces of Ranjit Singh made conspicuous arrangements for battering the forts of Multan. During Mughal rule it was an important headquarter and fell into Afghan custody after the fall of empire. After Multan, Sardar Hari Singh also subjugated the territories of Mitha Tiwana, Rajauri, Naushera, etc. from which strip tribute was realized for the kingdom of Lahore.

The Afghanis of North West region across river Indus around Peshawar were divided into several tribes (They still are). They were sort of savage people which would not obey any rule. From time to time the Punjabi forces from Lahore were sent there to put them down. Each time they would offer some tribute and then again revolt. To totally take control of these areas Maharaja Ranjit Singh give command to Hari Singh Nalua. Also to stop the attacks of Afghanis on Punjabi soil, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and others decided to put a series of forts to built up the defenses of the Punjabi frontier. From Attock to the Khyber Pass series of small forts were built under Hari singh Nalua to keep Afghanis in check. The most important part of this fortification was to put a complete halt at invaders who had attacked India entering from Khyber pass in West, starting with Greeks in 500 B.C.. So after 2300 Years of constant defeat and humiliation of Punjabi and Indian people Maharaja Ranjit Singh was able to totally shut down this historic route of invasion into India. It had been used by Greeks, Turks, Arabs, Mughals, Mongols, Tatars, Afghanis, etc. And on top of that there is no denying fact that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was quite conscious of the significance of North West frontier province for the defense of his territorial acquisitions.
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India

#2 Mar 11, 2009
Contd. from previuos post
A significant battle was fought here by Hari Singh Nalua when he defeated and caught the self styled Rajput chief Ghulam ali and send him over to Lahore. Maharaja was so happy that he allowed Hari Singh to strike a coin in his name in Kashmir. Then in the tract of Pakhli and Dhamtur Nalua with his usual sagacity and vision, was able to pacify a revolt against the Lahore court arising in the region. This is also acknowledged by Syed Mohd. Latif, a biased famous Punjabi Muslim historian. Henry Lepel Griffin in connection with Sardar Nalua in Pakhli states "obedience was not an easy to Hari Singh for wild mountaineers to the number of 20,000 opposed to his passage, on this way to mankera and at Pakli he was compelled to halt with his force of 7,000 men. Pakli has long been a spot dreaded by merchants, for the hillmen of that place were accustomed to demand a toll on shawl, wood and other merchandise. Hari Singh after vain efforts to induce the enemy to yield him a passage, attacked them with vigor, and storming their blockades defeated them with great slaughter. After this he imposed a fine of Rs 5 on each house in the district
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India

#3 Mar 11, 2009
Contd. from above
Since virtually peace in Punjab was only possible by sealing the border of Kabul, and Peshawar being geographically situated in its close proximity was an indispensable asset for Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Thus, ultimately the strip of Peshawar became the bone of contention between Maharaja and Afghanis. After the conquest of Attock, Maharaja's solid and concrete target of conquest was Peshawar as the exigency of time so demanded.

The murder of Wazir Fateh Khan of Kabul in A.D. 1818 provided Maharaja the desired opportunity to attempt the conquest of Peshawar as consequent to his murder the two major factions of the Afghans-The Sadazui's and Barqzai's-came to be seen at dagger's drawn with each other. Moreover, the possession of Peshawar except as a step to further acquisitions, does not appear to have been advantageous to Ranjeet with additional evil of leading Sikhs into constant collision with the savage tribes of Afghanis.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh availed himself of anarchy in Kabul and made as invasion of Peshawar, the South-West-Eastern frontiers of Peshawar with Punjab having been neglected by Sultan Yar Mohammed Khan and Dost Mohammad Khan, the then Afghan governors of Peshawar who found themselves helpless and vacated the city. Punjabi forces with Mian Ghausa and Diwan Mohkam Chand leading the charge With Sardar Nalua as general of Cavalry didn't had to face any fight what so ever. Maharaja appointed Jahan Dad Khan, ex governor of Attock as new governor of Peshawar in November 1818.

Then in 1822, Dost Mohammad Khan and Yar Mohammad Khan were able to expel the Maharaja's nominee Jahan Dad Khan from Peshawar and thus another expedition was undertook by Punjabi forces. This time the forces were being led by cavalry by Sardar Hari Singh Nalua, Foot soldiers by Dhanna Singh Malwai, and Jagat Singh Attariwala, Artillery by Mian Ghausa. Dost Mohammad Khan managed to reconcile by paying a handsome nazrana to Maharja and by accepting the submission to Khalsa kingdom rather than to kingdom of Kabul. In Jan 1823, Muhammad Azim, the Kabul wazir occupied Peshawar with the assistance of large army. Ranjit Singh sent another expedition, the battles of Jahangira and Naushera were fought in March 1823 where Sardar Nalua, Akali Phula Singh, Gorkha Bal Bhadra, Mian Ghausa, Misr Diwan Chand, Sardar Attar Singh marched in the battle field at the head of their divisions and gave a defeat to the Afghans in the battle of Jahangira but a more serious and awe inspiring battle was fought at Naushera which is also known as the battle of Tibbi Tehri. General Allard and Ventura's participation in this battle with their divisions and trained army of Lahore kingdom with Akali division of the army had absolutely no match for untrained militia who although surpassed in sheer numbers, Afghans after a great massacre submitted and Naushera was captured. Albeit, the Lahore troops lost an indispensable commander, Akali Phula Singh whose dashing feats of warfare had surprised one and all. Hari Singh Nalua played a conspicuous role first by inflicting a crushing defeat upon the enemy and secondly by pursuing the enemy after the defeat in order to be sure about the victory of the Lahore troops. The battle of Naushera made it evident to the frontier tribesmen that the Afghan militia was weaker than those of Lahore troops. This battle sealed the further prospects of Muhammad Azim of Kabul and established the Sikh supremacy over Peshawar
come on

India

#4 Mar 11, 2009
Contd. from above
In 1827, Sayed Ahmad Bareli who claimed himself to be the messenger of Prophet Mohammad inspired the tribesmen by fervent appeals to recover their territory from the "kafir" or "Infidel" kingdom of Lahore. Yar Mohammad Khan also joined these crusaders. These forces captured the Peshawar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent Hari Singh Nalua to recapture the Peshawar as well as major parts around khyber pass. Sardar Hari Singh Nalua gave blow to the rising power of Syed Ahmad Bareli Griffin states that when Sayed Ahmad roused all the fanatic power of Yusafzais for a holy war against Sikhs and was joined by the Barkazi chief of Peshawar, Sardar Hari Singh Nalua with his 25,000 men prevented Syed Ahmad from crossing Indus. Then Lahore troops crossed Indus and invaded Peshawar, Syed Ahmad and his crusaders were butchered. Hari Singh gave Sayed a great setback. Peshawar was pillaged, Palaces were destroyed, tribute of Peshawar was increased and the son of Yar Mohammad Khan was carried away by Hari Singh as hostage. Then again, in 1830, Maharaja had to sent Prince Sher singh to Peshawar to get tribute from Sayed Ahmad which was paid.

Hari Singh was put to call of duty in 1834 A.D for annexing Peshawar to the dominion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. On 6th May 1834, Peshawar was made part of Punjab and Hari Singh Nalua was made his first non-Muslim governor. But most of Hari Singh time was spent at Lahore, his division was situated in Lahore. A year after annexation of Peshawar, Dost Mohammad, now the Afghan ruler of Kabul attempted to regain his supremacy over strip of Peshawar. Tribesmen from Yusafzai, Mohmmand and Khatak tribes of the vicinity were appealed in the name of religion to jump into holy war or jehad against Sikhs in order to oust them from their region. But due to unknown reasons these Afghan troops retreated long before confrontation.

Dost Mohammad Khan did not rest contented and after mobilizing all his resources dispatched his son Akbar in A.D. 1837 to recover Peshawar which he did. Resultantly, Sardar Hari Singh Nalua was sent at the head of Lahore troops to face Afghans. He got his forces to Peshawar. Jamrud turned out to be the field of battle this time where a formidable battle was fought. Sardar Hari Singh Nalua had earlier build a fort on the entrance of Khyber pass called fort of Jamrud, this fort was being commanded by Sardar Mahan Singh Mirpura. For want of man and war material Nalua strove extraordinary hard, inspite of this he did not loose his heart. Urgent messages were sent to Lahore and Peshawar for materials. For want of timely help the Sardar was of course, killed but the Afghans could not dislodge the 500 Punjabi troops from the fort of Jamrud. General Hari Singh Nalua give his last command to his men to not to disclose his death and continue giving enemy a good fight.
come on

India

#5 Mar 11, 2009
Contd. from above
In 1827, Sayed Ahmad Bareli who claimed himself to be the messenger of Prophet Mohammad inspired the tribesmen by fervent appeals to recover their territory from the "kafir" or "Infidel" kingdom of Lahore. Yar Mohammad Khan also joined these crusaders. These forces captured the Peshawar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent Hari Singh Nalua to recapture the Peshawar as well as major parts around khyber pass. Sardar Hari Singh Nalua gave blow to the rising power of Syed Ahmad Bareli Griffin states that when Sayed Ahmad roused all the fanatic power of Yusafzais for a holy war against Sikhs and was joined by the Barkazi chief of Peshawar, Sardar Hari Singh Nalua with his 25,000 men prevented Syed Ahmad from crossing Indus. Then Lahore troops crossed Indus and invaded Peshawar, Syed Ahmad and his crusaders were butchered. Hari Singh gave Sayed a great setback. Peshawar was pillaged, Palaces were destroyed, tribute of Peshawar was increased and the son of Yar Mohammad Khan was carried away by Hari Singh as hostage. Then again, in 1830, Maharaja had to sent Prince Sher singh to Peshawar to get tribute from Sayed Ahmad which was paid.
Hari Singh was put to call of duty in 1834 A.D for annexing Peshawar to the dominion of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. On 6th May 1834, Peshawar was made part of Punjab and Hari Singh Nalua was made his first non-Muslim governor. But most of Hari Singh time was spent at Lahore, his division was situated in Lahore. A year after annexation of Peshawar, Dost Mohammad, now the Afghan ruler of Kabul attempted to regain his supremacy over strip of Peshawar. Tribesmen from Yusafzai, Mohmmand and Khatak tribes of the vicinity were appealed in the name of religion to jump into holy war or jehad against Sikhs in order to oust them from their region. But due to unknown reasons these Afghan troops retreated long before confrontation.
Dost Mohammad Khan did not rest contented and after mobilizing all his resources dispatched his son Akbar in A.D. 1837 to recover Peshawar which he did. Resultantly, Sardar Hari Singh Nalua was sent at the head of Lahore troops to face Afghans. He got his forces to Peshawar. Jamrud turned out to be the field of battle this time where a formidable battle was fought. Sardar Hari Singh Nalua had earlier build a fort on the entrance of Khyber pass called fort of Jamrud, this fort was being commanded by Sardar Mahan Singh Mirpura. For want of man and war material Nalua strove extraordinary hard, inspite of this he did not loose his heart. Urgent messages were sent to Lahore and Peshawar for materials. For want of timely help the Sardar was of course, killed but the Afghans could not dislodge the 500 Punjabi troops from the fort of Jamrud. General Hari Singh Nalua give his last command to his men to not to disclose his death and continue giving enemy a good fight.
come on

India

#6 Mar 11, 2009
Contd.fom above

Sir Lepel Griffin, gives a detailed and comprehensive account of Sardar Nalua's campaign of Jamrud. He points out that Sardar was directed to build a fort at Jamrud situated at the entrance of Khber pass from the walls of which Maharaja might glance Jalalabad in Afghanistan. Sardar got built a small port which was quite impregnable to the artillery fire and could hold on for several weeks of pounding. The Dost Mohammad Khan, with 7,000 horse, 2000 matchlock men and 18 guns. His three sons with their forces and a force of 12,000 to 15,000 of Khaibiris joined the main force and started pounding the fort. Mahan singh Mirpura requested help from Peshwar where Hari singh Nalua was ailing with fever
Hari immediately sent some horsemen to Lahore for more reinforcement and he along with his soldiers went to Jamrud. Reinforcement under Hari Singh Nalua give a new life to the garrison and attack of Afghanis was repulsed with vigour. Grifin further states that when Hari Singh Nalua along with about five of his companion went outside of the fort to inspect a breach in a wall, he was struck by two balls, one in the side and the other in stomach. Inspite of them understanding that he was mortally injured, the Nalua sardar managed to ride as far as his camp lest the troops be discouraged. Then laying on floor he gives his last order to his few trusted men, that was to not to disclose the secret of his death

Thus the great Sardar Hari Singh Nalua, with the terror of whose name Afghan mothers used to quiten their fretful children attained his martyrdom
Tariq

UK

#9 Sep 6, 2011
Alot of muslims in the sikh armies, including Afghans. The British defeated the Sikhs an the Afghans defeated the British.
American Lover

San Jose, CA

#10 Sep 7, 2011
Tariq wrote:
Alot of muslims in the sikh armies, including Afghans. The British defeated the Sikhs an the Afghans defeated the British.
actually, the british defeated the afghans in the second anglo-afghan war and occupied afghanistan for some time, but lost it in 1919. the british were not interested in holding afghanistan as a colony because it lacks sufficient resources for good economy, so the british felt it would be a waste of money keeping afghanistan as a colony. british just didnt want the russians to be a power house in south asia. the durrand line was created by the british and afghanistan lost land cuz of it. what u said tariq is somewhat wrong.

i met many afghans who have false pride about defeating the british, which is somewhat true, but they never look at the whole picture. the british never had the intention to rule afghanistan, but wanted to control their foreign policies to weaken the russian empire.

the sikhs occupied punjab which has great resources, so the british used way more troops to invade punjab than they did with afghanistan. also the british were clever and paid members in the sikh empire to betray it and give the sikh army inefficient weapons. the british were scared of sikhs and have written it in history books. that is why sikhs were treated better than other indian soldiers.

honestly, i would love to see a war between afghans and sikhs with equal numbers and weapons. i believe the if the sikhs are true to their religion, then they will win because they defeated afghans with less men and less resources before the sikh empire, when they had little political power and they also defeated them during and after the sikh empire (battle of saragarhi).

some sikhs predict that muslims will attack them again from pakistan and afghanistan and sikhs will win ultmately again because they are good. i sure hope so cuz america cannot do everything even though we would like to believe that we can do everything, but we have limits too. may the good prevail and tyrants suffer in hell.
mard singh

Nottingham, UK

#11 Sep 7, 2011
Why is Salwar Kameez, women's dress, woren by Pathans and many muslim men in Pakistan?
Blame Sardar Hari Singh Nalua, our finest soldier.
It was he who said to the Pathans, those who wants to escape from Jamraud may do so wearing womens clothing because the Sikhs don't harm women, and now Salwar/ Kameez is the national dress of Pathans and many Pakistani men.
Brave Pathan, lol
Good isn't it ?
American Lover

San Jose, CA

#12 Sep 7, 2011
mard singh wrote:
Why is Salwar Kameez, women's dress, woren by Pathans and many muslim men in Pakistan?
Blame Sardar Hari Singh Nalua, our finest soldier.
It was he who said to the Pathans, those who wants to escape from Jamraud may do so wearing womens clothing because the Sikhs don't harm women, and now Salwar/ Kameez is the national dress of Pathans and many Pakistani men.
Brave Pathan, lol
Good isn't it ?
you are absolutely correct. a muslim wrote this about hari singh nalwa.

http://www.harisinghnalwa.com/legends.html

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