On his father’s death Mírzá Ghází Beg was confirmed

Changes in the political establishments.

as the governor of Tattá and he began to rule independently of any regent’s assistance. Those of the nobles who had seen him in his childhood did not care very much for him. When his elder brother Mírzá Abul Fatih wasliving, those men were, on one occasion rid-along in his company, and Ghází Beg, who was a child then, was left behind them. Ghází Beg felt this and became so angry that he said “When I happen to get the reins of government, I shall show them what I can do to these dark-minded double-sighted wretches.” Now that he was the sole master of the place he began to rule in his own way. Yaakúb Alí Kúkah, who during Ghází Beg’s minority, had worked against his wishes by giving hardly one-tenth of the reward that the Mírzá ordered to be given to some person, was now deprived of his Jágír, which was given to Mullá Yaakúb, who was the head master of his school in his childhood. He raised one Shahbází who took care of his pigeons and dogs, to a high post, giving him the title of Sháhbáz Khán and appointed Múlah, a Hindu, as his chief accountant, or Díwán, giving him the title of Daolatrài. He made Ahmad Beg his chief secretary calling him Ahmad Sultán. In short he dismissed the old officers and appointed new ones, through whom he tried his best to keep the subjects comfortable and the troops satisfied. Slowly he took back the Jágírs from the grantees, giving them cash allowances instead.

There were several persons who were dissatisfied with

The rebellion of Abul Kásim Sultán.

Mírzá Ghází Beg and they were on the alert to cause rebellion as for instance, Muhammadalí Sultán Kábulí, who on one occasion, while playing at chess with Mírzá Ghází Beg, had got annoyed and had run away wounding two noblemen and people had been sent in search of him; Khusró Khán Charkas, who had been one of the regents; Mírzá Muzaffar son of Mírzá Bákí, who was in Kachh; Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán, who had run away to Samejahs to whom he was related on his mother’s side; and the last but not least, Abul Kásim Sultán son of Sháh Kásim Arghún, who for some years past had been in full possession of the district of Nasarpúr. This last nobleman was a brave soldier and in the lifetime of Mírzá Jání Beg had defeated the Sódhás and taken Umarkót. Though his sister had been Mírzá Jání’s wife and his daughter had been betrothed to his nephew Mírzá Abul Fatib, and after the latter’s death to Mírzá Ghází Beg himself, still he did not like Ghází Beg’s policy and began to act against him. At first he attacked a party of merchants of Tattá who were going on private business to Nasarpúr and plundered them. When Mírzá Ghází Beg reprimanded him for that and asked him for an explanation, he openly told him that he had nothing to do with his division and wrote saying “I shall be obliged to extend the boundary line of my division to the very bank of the Alíján, and forthwith he raised the standard of revolt and stopped all the ways of com­munication with Tattá either by land or by water.” The old chiefs of Tarkháns and Arghúns, who were jealous of Ghází Beg’s power, became very glad to hear of this, as they thought the Mírzá would soon be brought to ruin. Ghází Beg secretly made plans with his new officers to meet the insurgents, while apparently he asked these old officers to help him in the undertaking.

Having made necessary preparations Mírzá Ghází Beg

Mírzá Ghází Beg marches against Abul Kásim Sultán.

left Tattá for Nasarpúr. Fearing nocturnal attack from the enemy, at every stage he used to dig a trench round his camp. On his coming to Kátiár, Abul Kásim, with a few persons, came walking to the trench and called out to Ghází Beg asking him politely what he had come for and why he should have put a trench round the camp and telling him that Abul Kásim would not fall upon them treacherously or secretly, but was ready to fight with them, in an open battle. Ghází Beg replied that Abul Kásim had turned enemy to his own self and that until he had brought ruin upon himself, he would not stop in his headlong course.

Mírzá Ghází Beg thence proceeded to Sháhgarh, where he fixed his camp and made a halt. Here it is said that Abul Kásim out of vanity once came up to the tower, and from that place spoke to his troops, saying “I shall give Mírzá Jání’s mother to my father, and the daughters of Mírzá Muhammad Bákí and other Tarkháns I shall distribute among you.” But poor man, he did not know what bad consequences disloyalty always brought.

Abul Kásim’s father was a very wise man. He could

They make peace.

foresee these consequences and there­fore reprimanded his son urging him not to take such a step. He openly applied for his own as well as his son’s pardon. Bháí Khán, one of Ghází Beg’s enemies, did not wish that peace be made and so he began to put some hindrance in the way, but he was soon put to death by poison, by the Mírzá’s men. Soon after his removal, Abul Kásim became attached to Ghází Beg and thenceforth began to visit him quietly for some time.

Though Mírzá Ghází Beg had sworn to spare Abul

Abul Kásim is blinded with a burning iron wire.

Kásim’s life, he still doubted his loyalty. He therefore hit upon a plan to blind him, that he might live and yet be less harmful. With this object in view, one day he held a pleasure party on the further side of a canal that flowed near his camp. Ghází Beg now sent for Abul Kásim Sultán asking him to bring the book “Chanesar Námah” that had been written and dedicated to him by its author Idrákí Beg and to read it for the amusement of the friends. Abul Kásim, who was very fond of this book, took it with him and walked to the place. In the way he received a letter from Muhammadalí Sultán Kábulí, giving him a warning. But as destiny would have it, he was in such a hurry and good humour that he put it in the folds of his waist-cloth without read­ing it. While crossing the canal in a boat, along with one of his own attendants and several of the Mírzá’s men, when they came to about the middle of the stream, he was caught all of a sudden and his hands were tied behind his back with his own turban. Gházi Beg, being informed of this, ordered that a red-hot iron wire be passed through his eyes. This was done and both of his eyes were blinded giving him great agony. His legs were then chained and he was sent away to Tattá. His friends hearing of what had happened came and fought with Ghází Beg’s men, but were either captured or driven away. Muhammadalí Sultán Kábulí, was beaten with the stocks of guns and secured in a prison. Ísá Tarkhán left the country and went away to Hindustán. Thus Ghází Beg cleared the field of his rivals and enemies and ruled at Tattá quietly for a long time.

About this time Jám Hálah son of Jám Desar, the

Fight with Jám Hálah of Kakrálah.

ruler of Kakrálah, had encroached upon the frontiers of Mírzá Ghází Beg’s territory, and killed and looted some jagirdars and caused some other mischief. Ghází Beg started with an army to punish the Jám. Under the guidance of Jám Dáúd one of Jám Hálah’s kinsmen, he succeeded in driving away Jám Hálah and gaining posses­sion of his country. Jám Dáúd now became a favourite of Mírzá Ghází Beg, who married Jám Dáúd’s daughter, and dividing that country into 3 parts, he gave one to Jám Dáúd and annexed the other two to his own territory. It is said that this was the first instance of matrimonial connection between the Jáms and the Arghún and Tarkhán rulers, for, before this the latter had tried much to get a girl from the Jáms but had failed.

While Mírzá Ghází Beg was carrying on warfare with

Mírzá Ghází Beg prepares to go to visit the Emperor.

his enemies, Emperor Akbar had sent an envoy to call the Mírzá but as the envoy found him very busy settling the affairs of the country, which urgently required his presence, he would not tell him to accompany him to the Emperor, though he remained with him for some time. After the Mírzá’s return from Kakrálah, however, he heard of Nawáb Saíd Khán’s coming to summon him. He therefore called together his nobles and told them that if like his father he had a vast treasure with him he would certainly take steps to defend it by meeting the Emperor’s army in the open field; but since that was not the case, it was much better that before the Nawáb’s arrival he should start on a visit to the Emperor. Accordingly he left Khusró Khán Charkas, Arab Kúkah and secretary Alahkulí, with some troops at Tattá, and taking Ahmadbeg Sultán, Bháí Khán son of Khushró Khán and a few other noblemen with him, he came to Fateh­bágh and prepared to visit the Emperor.

Abul Kásím Sultán, had remained a prisoner in the

Escape and recapture of Abul Kásim Sultán.

neighbourhood of Arab Kúkah under the surveillance of his servant Daryá Khán. After Mírzá Ghází Beg’s departure he arranged with his sister, Mírzá Ghází’s wife, who used to send him food, that on a particular day she should send him a noose concealed in the tray of food, and keep a boat ready for him on this side of the canal and two riding camels on the other. About midnight when the watchmen went to sleep, notwithstanding his blindness, he raised up his cot just under the top window in the room, and climbing over it got himself out of the room. He had to pass through two other rooms which he did with great cleverness. In the last room he fixed his noose to a very small and narrow window, and reach­ing it and pressing himself out of it, descended to the ground. In this passage he underwent so much difficulty that his skin was scratched off in many places. He then took one Jaafaralí from a neighbouring house, in his company, and crossed the canal by the boat. Then riding the camels they hurried on to the hilly country of the Shórah tribe. Early in the morning, when the watchmen got up, they missed the prisoner, and immediately horse­men and footmen went in every direction to find him out. Intimation being given to Mírzá Ghází Beg at Fatehbágh he began to look sharp, lest that intrepid blind man should make a night attack on him. Daryá Khán, for fear of his life, left no stone unturned to rearrest the escaped convict. With some difficulty he got a clue and going on the tracks, he overtook the two camels in the hills. In the conflict that ensued, Jaafaralí was killed and Abul Kásim dismounted. The latter now took a stand, having collected a heap of stones near himself, which he began to shower at Daryá Khán. Being alone, Daryá Khán went here and there to secure some men to help him. In this attempt he lost his way and walked away from the scene of fight. After some time he met some headman of the village who seeing crows hovering in one direction understood that that was the scene of conflict, where the murdered man was lying. So he brought Daryá Khán to the spot, where he found Abul Kásim still sitting in one place. He was tied on the camel and Jaafaralí’s head cut off and placed before him. He was then brought to the town and after exposing him to the public in that bloody plight, Abul Kásim was again thrown into prison.

It is said that Jaafaralí had a faithful dog, which, for two days, continually was sitting at the foot of the pole on which Jaafaralí’s head was fixed in the midst of the market. When, on the third day the head was buried, the dog remained at the tomb for several days and then slowly left the place.

When Ghází Beg heard of Abul Kásim’s recapture he sent a horse and a robe of honour as a present to Arab Kúkah and increased the allowances of Daryá Khán.

Mírzá Ghází Beg had his mind at ease now and so be

Mírzá Ghází’s visit to Emperor Akbar and after the latter’s death, to Emperor Jahángír.

left Fathbágh on his forward journey. At Bakhar he met Nawáb Saíd Khán, to whom he gave his explana­tion for the delay. It is said that the Nawáb was so much struck with the proud and over hearing look of the Mírzá that he remarked to his son Mírzá Saadulláh that he found marks of future glory and prosperity in the face of the young man and he requested the Mírzá to take his son in his company and keeping, like a brother. Thenceforth the two young men became intimate friends. In playing or in hunting they were always seen together. The party travelled on in this way, till they arrived at the capital city of Ágrah in 1013 A.H. (1604 A.D.).

The Emperor received Mírzá Ghází Beg with marked distinction. He conferred his father’s honours on him and made him the governor of the Súbah of Sind. After the next few months, in the next year, Akbar died and was succeeded by his son Jahángír.* Being advised by some evil counsellors the Mírzá left Ágrah for Tattá clandestinely. He had hardly arrived at his capital, when he received Jahángír’s orders to present himself before him. At the same time, Mír Abdurrazák was appointed to be in charge of Sehwán, Lóhrí port and Tattá. Ghází Beg lost no time in going to the Emperor in response to his call, and notwithstanding the backbiting of some men, he was received very well by the Emperor, who kept him in his court for some time as a wise counsellor.

It is said on one of those days the Emperor Jahángír was in consultation with his courtiers with regard to the revolt made by prince Khusró. The Emperor wished to call Mírzá Ghází Beg in order to see what advice he gave. The others told him that the Mírzá was a young inexperi­enced person and that his council would not be very sound, but the Emperor said Ghází Beg had been a ruler and as such must know well how to solve political diffi­culties. And so he was called and asked as to what he had to say in the matter. Ghází Beg said “whatever your imperial majesty is inclined to do, is the best.” Being further pressed to give his opinion freely, he replied “when you have put one foot in your stirrup I shall say what I have to say.” The Emperor understood what he meant and was much pleased with it, for he had already made up his mind to march against the prince and to quell the rebellion by forces. This was done and the whole affair ended in success.

When Mírzá Ghází Beg was about to start on his

Rebellion of Khusró Khán Charkas.

journey to Ágrah, he wanted to leave Ahmad Beg Sultán at Tattá and take away Khusró Khán Charkas with him, as he was rather suspicious about his faithfulness. But Khusró Khán tried several means through some intercessors to get himself free and at length succeeded. So he was permitted to stay at Tattá and as Ahmad Beg Sultán urged that in the presence of Khusró Khán he would have no influence with the people, Mírzá Ghází Beg asked him (Ahmad Beg) to accompany him. After he had visited the Emperor and received honour from him, Ahmad Beg Sultán was sent back to Tattá under the sanction of the Emperor, and Khusró Khán was asked to retain criminal work, but to give up the civil or revenue work to Ahmad Beg. Khusró Khán obeyed the orders, but he conspired with some other persons to find an occasion to show disrespect to Ahmad Beg publicly, so that he should give up in disgust the idea of governing the country. But Ahmad Beg coming to know of this, secretly left the place with the assistance of Abul Kásim Arghún, who had that day arrived from Nasarpúr and went to the Emperor’s camp, though he was long pursued by Khusro Khán’s men.

Sháh Beg Khán was the governor of Kandhár on

Mírzá Ghází Beg is sent to Kandhár.

behalf of the Emperor. In 1015 A. H. (1606 A. D.) Haidar, one of Sháh Beg’s men, grew disloyal and refractory and brought an army from Khurásán and laid siege to Kandhár. On receiving the report, the Emperor Akbar deputed Mírzá Kurrah Khán to be the governor of the Súbah of Kandhár and Mírzá Ghází Beg was made his companion or assistant. They started with a large army but unfortunately Kurrah Khán died on the way. His men wanted to send the valuable property left by him to his son at Bakhar, but Ghází Beg suggested that as he had not yet received any money from his native estate, the deceased general’s property might be given to him as a loan for use during the expedition. And without waiting for their decision, he ordered the drums to be beaten and the army marched out under his command. All were now obliged to suspend their private inclinations and to co-operate with the Mírzá in his undertaking, that had been taken under the orders of their common master, the Emperor. Luckily the army had hardly gone beyond two or three stages in the Kandhár territory when the Khurásán forces fled in fear, and the victory was pro­claimed to be Mírzá Ghází Beg’s.

As Ghází Beg had now received letters about Khusró Khán’s rebellion, he was allowed by the Emperor to leave straight for Bakhar in order to take necessary steps for mending the affairs of Sind. But soon after that he was called back from Bakhar as some of his ill-wishers had represented to the Emperor that Mírzá Ghází Beg wanted to be an independent ruler. Ghází Beg came to the Emperor, when the latter was on his way from Kábul to Láhór. The Emperor was so much pleased with him that he appointed him the governor of the Súbah of Kandhár, and increased his titles and Jágírs.

Thus, getting the province of Kandhár in addition to the districts of Tattá, Sehwán and part of Multán, Mírzá Ghází Beg came from Láhór to Multán. From here he wanted to send an agent to Kandhár before he was able to go thither himself. He first nominated Mírzá Muham­mad Amán Tarkhán but as the latter had first to go on some business to Tattá, he appointed Ahmad Beg Sultán to the post, giving him the title of Iatimád Khán. This nobleman hastened to Kandhár and with a wise policy and kind behaviour put the affairs of that division, that had been so long in confusion, into proper order.

Mírzá Ghází Beg thus got an opportunity of coming to Bakhar and settling the public and private affairs of that side that badly required his presence and interference. He then came to Kandhár through Siwí and Ganjábah. Taking some rest there, he deputed Bháí Khán son of Khusró Khán and another, to fight against the Afgháns, and appointed Rái Mánikchand son of Rái Khóriah to march against Haidar, Sháh Beg’s refractory servant. He sent Mír Abdulláh Sultán, titled Mír Khán, as an ambassador to Sháh Abbás the king of Persia,* with rich presents to secure his good will. And now he began to rule quietly at Kandhár.

On receiving complaints, to the effect that Khusró Khán

Khusró Khán Charkas captured by Hindú Khán.

had been misappropriating and misusing the public money at Tattá Mírzá Ghází Beg was advised by his nobles to send some agents to examine the accounts and to make a report about it; accordingly Sáíndinah son-in-law to Rái Khóríah was sent with the title of Hindú Khán to Tattá to check the accounts and to take the money matters of the place into his charge. He came and discovered several defalcations and embezzlements of Khusró Khán and made his report about it to Mírzá Ghází Beg personally on his return to Kandhár.

It is said that Khusró Khán Charkas, having found himself in power and being away from the real owner of the place, began to abuse his power. He put his grand­sons in power. One of them, Muhammad Beg son of Rustam Beg, who was the governor of Nerún Kót, dealt very cruelly with the Arghúns and Tarkháns. Another had carried away by force a Hindú girl of haberdashers’ caste, which deed had caused some rioting and bloodshed. These doings of his, together with his criminal misap­propriation of the public money, were fully brought to the notice of Mírzá Ghází Beg, who became very angry. He determined to punish Khusró Khán and his relations and to degrade them to a very low position in society. With this object in view he had sent Sáíndinah Hindú Khán with Ráná Mánikchand and Shahbáz Khán to bring Khusró Khán Charkas with all his relations, young and old.

Hindú Khán came to Nasarpúr and wanted first to settle the affairs outside and then to enter the city. Mukím Sultán with all his brothers, at the instigation of Khusró Khán, laid siege to him at that place, and Abul Kásim Sultán, who had been set at liberty at the interces­sion of Khusró Khán incited his relations to stop supplies to the besieged. Ráná Mánikchand, happening to come out of the fort in order to bring about reconciliation, was cut down by an Arghún. Hearing this, Mánikchand’s son Ráising issued from the fort with a party of soldiers and vowed to be revenged on the murderors of his father, before cremating the latter’s body. He fought with the Arghúns, killed their chief, Sherbeg, a son-in-law of Sháh Kásim Arghún with many picked warriors, secured their animals and property, and then went to burn the body of his father. He now returned successful to Mírzá Ghází Beg, who honoured him more than his father.

After all Hindú Khán succeeded in taking every thing out of Khusró Khan’s charge, though the latter had tried his best to turn the chief landowners against him. Khusró Khán with all his relations was brought to Hálah Kandí to be taken by Hindù Khán to Mírzá Ghází Beg at Kandhár, when he got the news of the Mírzá’s death.

Seeing Mírzá Ghází Beg rising to power more and

Mírzá Ghází Beg’s death.

more, from day to day, some of his kinsmen and friends became jealous of him and resolved to do away with him by violence. Accordingly in the year 1201 A.H. (1612 A.D.) at their instigation he was put to death by a house-hold servant of his, by name Abdullatíf. His body was conveyed to Tattá and there buried in a mausoleum, in the neighbour­hood of his father.

Mírzá Ghází Beg was a brave soldier and a generous

His character.

noble. He was a very good ruler. It is said that he used to go about at night in disguise to learn the state of the country and of his people’s mind. He was so liberal that notwithstand­ing his holding big Jágírs of Kandhár, Tattá, Sehwán and Multán, he was very poor and was often in want of money. Once his accountants requested him to see the accounts as the expenditure was exceeding the income. Mírzá Ghází Beg is said to have torn the account papers saying “my noble father spent what he had and did not leave any thing for me. The all-bountiful has made me comfortable and has given me plenty. I thank Him for not leaving me in want of food. As so many years of my life have passed away, the remaining also will do the same. Do not trouble me with these things.”

He was a man of learning and composed poetry too, taking Karí (reader) as his nom-de-plume. It is said that there was another poet with the same nom-de-plume at Kandhár in his time. He called him, gave him rich presents, and requested him to leave that nom-de-plume for him and take another. Both Ghází Beg and his father were very good musicians and were fond of singing. Their love for that fine art may be imagined from the general belief of the public that anyone, not having any children, who would sing and play on musical instruments for some days in their mausoleums, would be blessed with children.

As Mírzá Ghází Beg had no issue and as Hindú Khán

Concluding remarks.

was soon driven away by Khusró Khán who now considered himself quite secure in possession of Tattá, the Emperor Jahángír thought it better to annex that part of the country to his empire and to govern it like many other provinces of his by appointing some of his men as governors.

Thus ended the rule of Tarkháns. About the close of Jahángír’s reign, Mírzá Ísá Tarkhán was appointed a governor for some days, as will be seen in the next chapter, but no other Tarkhán ever afterwards held the reins of government.