Transactions at Lahoor, after the death

JUST before the murder of Nadir Shah, died Zekaria Khan the Soobahdar of Multan, who had married the sister of Kummereddeen Khan. The Naib Soobahdary was immediately conferred upon Meer Momin Khan, and shortly after Yahia Khan, the eldest son of Zekaria Khan, was appointed Soobah­dah, through the interest of Kummered­deen Khan, whose daughter he had mar­ried. But before his arrival at Lahoor, his younger brother Hyatullah, to whom Nadir Shah had given the title of Shahnowaz Khan, having raised a large army, marched against him and took him prisoner, and thereby got entire possession of all their deceased father’s estate. Shah­nowaz Khan erased from his own seal the words, “devoted servant of Moham­med shah,” and in their place substituted this verse:

O Lord thou art witness of my inten­tion;

Since my inclination is good, bestow good upon me.

In the border of the seal, instead of the Emperor’s ancestors, he caused to be engraven the names of the twelve Imams, having abandoned the faith of the Sun­nies, and embraced that of the Schias. When he had made himself master of the city of Lahoor, he extorted consider­able sums of money from his father’s, officers, settled the revenues of the country, and took measures for continuing the war. Kummereddeen Khan used entreaties and threats, to obtain the enlargement of Yahia Khan, but in vain. However, it was shortly after effected, by the contrivance of their aunt, with the assistance of some other ladies of the family. They placed Yahia Khan in a tray, and covering it up, had it conveyed from an entertainment as a service of victuals; and he having thus regained his liberty, travelled by unfrequented roads to Shahjehanabad. When Shah­nowaz Khan discovered the trick that had been played, he punished all the accomplices of the plot; but he forgot his resentment against his aunt, upon her making the following sensible and affectionate declaration, “Had circum­stances been reversed, said she, and you the prisoner instead of Yahia Khan, I should have exerted all my endeavours to have set you at liberty; for the heart of a parent feels most affection for the child who is in adversity. I am now in your power, dispose of me as you may think proper.” Shahnowaz Khan, charmed at her good­ness of heart, and sagacity, gave her no further trouble.

Shahnowaz Khan, who persuaded him­self that the Vizier would not proceed to hostillities, whilst his son-in-law was in confinement, now that he had escaped, began to be alarmed for his own safety. To add to his distress, Ahmed Shah Abdalle, upon hearing of the contest between the brothers, marched to Lahoor.