The next day after Mián Ghulám Sháh’s death his son

Muhammad Sarafráz Khán confirmed by the new king with the title of “Khudáyár Khán.”

Mián Muhammad Sarafráz Khán was placed on the throne of Sind with the unanimous consent of the nobility of the Fakírs, or followers of the late Mián. Taimúr Sháh, the new king, hastened to send a robe of honour with his sanad confirming the new ruler with the title of “Khudáyár Khán” in addition to his father’s title. The Derahs were also attached to him. Mián Muhammad Sarafráz Khan therefore prepared to go in that direction and started about the close of Zulhajj of the same year 1186 A.H. (1772 A.D.) He had to spend some months in settling the affairs of the Derhas, and on the 12th of Rabíussání, 1187 A.H. (1773 A.D.) he returned to Haidarábád.

About the close of Shuabán, 1188 A. H., the Mián set

The Mián goes to Kachh and Gujrát,

out for Kachh. On the way he took the fort of Bajham. The Ráo of Kachh received the Mián with dis­tinction and was consequently left in undisputed possession of his country. From Kachh the Mián passed into the limits of Gujrát, where he received homage from the big Járejah chiefs, Náthahji of Gujrát and Dáúdji of Kaniárá Kót. The Mián then returned to Parkaran.* In the beginning of Shawwál, he returned to the newly built town of Khúdabád.*

We have said above in Chapter III that, at the time of

The influence of the Tálpurs at the Courts of Kalhórah rulers.

Mián Yár Muhammad’s rule Prince Muizzuddín, who had come to Bakhar, had sent Mír Shahdád Khán Tálpur Balóch to fight with Ghází Khán, the chief of the Derahs, and that for the bravery and tact he had shown in settling the affairs of that division, the prince gave him the land of Pat Bárán as a jágír. This Mír Shahdád is the first ancestor of the Tálpurs, of whom we read in the history of Sind.* Subsequently it appears that the Mír attached himself to the court of the Mián, taking the latter, as a spiritual guide, as well as a chief, as was the fashion in those days. Gradually he became the chief councillor of the ruling chief and acquired a great deal of influence in political affairs. When Mián Muhammad Murád, became unpopular, it was through Mír Bahrám, the son of Mír Shahdád, that the nobles conspired and dethroned him, in favour of his brother.*

In 1172 A.H. (1759 A.D.) when Mián Muhammad Atur Khán, the then ruler of Sind, brought the imperial Afghán army to reinstate him, Mír Bahrám was on the side of Mián Ghulám Sháh in the fight that ensued and that ended in the victory of the latter. During Mián Ghulám Sháh’s reign, Mír Bahrám enjoyed the high esteem of that ruler. On his death, his successor Mián Muhammad Sarafráz too regarded him as his chief coun­cillor and prime minister. As Mír Bahrám had grown old, his son Mír Bijár often took place in the council-hall, proving himself to be a worthy son of a worthy father.

As the Mián was very fond of the Mírs, Rájah Líkhí,

Mián Muhammád Sarafráz becomes suspicious of Mír Bahrám and his sons, through the jealousy of Rájah Likhí.

who was also one of the chief courtiers, became jealous of them. Rájah is said to have been an illiterate and foolish person. He was naturally of a bad and mischievous temper. Having formed a resolution to bring about the fall of the Mírs, he began to back-bite them to the Mían, telling him that Mír Bahrám had sent him secret messages repeatedly tempting him to conspire against him (the Mián). He advised the Mián to take necessary precau­tionary measures before it was too late. Rájah went on slandering the Mír in this strain whenever he got an opportunity to do so. Although the Mián knew him to be a mischievous person and would have been the last person to believe his whispers against a wise counseller and a brave soldier like Mír Bahrám, still, perhaps, it was destined that he should do so. Accordingly the Mián began to show signs of distrust of the Mír, gradually grew cold towards him and finally turned his face from him. Díwán Gidúmal, the old and faithful secretary of the ruling family, interceded and tried to bring about a reconciliation between the Mián and the Mír. “My master” said he “Pay no attention to what these michievous people tell you. Those who fan the fire very closely, run back, when it kindles into a blaze. Do not be rash and hasty, to make an enemy of such a party, or else it will end in a revolt and you will come to grief. If you have any fear of the Mír’s doings, be more kind and obliging to him. This will compel him to be a staunch adherent of yours.” But as fate would have it, the Mián would not agree with the old Díwan’s suggestion.

Perceiving coldness in the behaviour of his master Mír

Mír Bahrám’s consultation with his sons.

Bahrám determined to plan some decided course for himself. With this object in view, he privately con­sulted his two sons, Mír Bijár and Mír Sóbdár thus,—“My sons, we are soon to receive our lot at the hands of our master. You know we have sworn on the Korán to be faithful to him and he has sworn to be kind to us. If, now, without any reason he causes some harm to us, we must quietly bear it, leaving him to the punishment of God. My wish now is, that for some time you must leave me to my fate and go somewhere else. This may kill envy and restore good feelings in our master’s mind. But if the matter comes to the worst, still you will be safe.” Following the hint, the eldest son Mír Bijár set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca, but the younger son Sóbdár would not leave his old father’s side, and notwithstanding his sire’s wish that he should look after the safety of himself and his fámily, Mír Sóbdár determined to stay and abide by the will of God.

One day Mír Bahrám had come to pay his respects to

Murder of Mír Bahrám and his son Sóbdár by treachery.

Mián Muhammad Sarafráz, in the usual manner, when some of the chief courtiers were present in his court.* The treacherous Mián gave a letter, that he had received from Mír Bijár at Mascat to the old Mír to read. The latter put on his spectacles, and while he was reading the letter, a servant named Husain, who had been posted behind him with previous instructions, gave a sudden blow with his sword to the Mír from behind, cutting off his head. The Mir died immediately.*

Taking advantage of the occasion, some persons rushed out with swords to despatch Mír Sóbdár, before the tragical news was known. Mír Sóbdár was at that time conversing with Alah Baksh, the eldest son of Rájah Líkhí. Seeing the swordsmen coming and perceiving foul play, he lost no time in killing Alah Baksh there and then. Then he had to confront his assailants, who surrounded him on all sides. He bravely killed a number of the murderers, but at last fell under the heavy blows of the the assailants. This occurred in the year 1188 A.H.* (1774 A.D.)

Mír Sóbádár died leaving four sons, viz., Fateh Alí Khán,

Mir Fateh Khán’s attack and Mían Sarafráz’s flight from the fort of Haidará­bád.

Ghulam Alí Khán, Karam Alí Khán and Murád Alí Khán. They were all young. Mír Fateh Khán upon whom he had looked as a brother, waited for a time, expecting the arrival of Mír Bijár* when he thought that they would lay plans together to revenge themselves on their enemies. But as he did not receive any news of his coming soon, Mír Fateh Khán lost patience. Not being able to bear the pain any more, he collected a number of Balóches and attacked the fort of Khudábád. He killed the keepers quite unawares and entered the fort amidst the consternation of the inmates. Mián Sarafráz had no other alternative but to secretly leave the fort with 5 or 6 attendants for the river through a jungle, and occupying a fisherman’s boat he hastily sailed for the fort of Haidará­bád, reaching the latter place, before day-break, that very night. Here there was plenty of treasure and of military stores to enable him to fight, but as fate was against him, he lost heart and left that place too.

The next day when it was known that Mián Sarafráz

Mahmúd Khán placed on the vacant throne and the fort of Haidarábád attacked and taken.

had fled, his brother Mahmúd Khán was placed on the vacant seat at Khudábád, and Mehráb, the Chief of the Jatóis given to him as his minister.* Mír Fateh Khán then marched with his forces against the fort of Haidarábád. Seeing the intrepidity of the Mír and fearing the revenge of Mír Bijár, most of the chiefs and nobles, including Rájah Líkhí, and Alahbakhsh Jhinjan, left the side of Mián Sarafráz and joined Mír Fateh Khán in his expedition. They all soon appeared before the gate of the fort and laid siege to it. Within a week the fort was taken and an entry made. The next moment Sarafráz appeared abusing Rájah Líkhí to his face for his faithlessness and mischief and repenting of having got his loyal chiefs, the Mirs, killed. But it was too late now. The keys of the treasures were handed over to Mír Fateh Khán, who refused to keep them as representing the sole master of the place. “Far be it from me” said he, “that I should call myself a ruler. Mír Bijár is our chief, and when he comes he will mete out proper punishment to his enemies. What I have done is not to get traeasures but to quench the fire of my heart.”

As there was no other alternative, the wily Rájah Líkhí kept the keys with himself and appointed his own son Tájah to be the chief manager of the fort. He now had an ample opportunity to spend money and win over some of the chiefs, in order to be prepared for the fight that might ensue with Mír Bijár, when he came. He secured the services of Alahbakhsh Jhinjan, Peróz Pitáfí and the chief of the tribe of Khósabs, whom he knew to be on bad terms with the Mírs.

Mír Fateh Khán now thought it proper to withdraw to

Withdrawal of Mír Fateh Khán and the ascension of Mián Ghulám Nabí to the throne.

his derah or head-quarters, that were at a short distance from the city.* Rájah Líkhí not liking the proximity of the Mírs’ quarters took Mahmúd Khán with him and went to Kháhah, where in the midst of waters flowing on all sides, he thought himself safe and able to carry on his nefarious plans. With the consultation of his mercenary counsellers, he determined to give the government of Sind into the hands of some Kalhórah chief, connected on the mother’s side with the tribe of Júnejahs, whom he knew to be numerous and on inimical terms with the Balóches. He therefore entering into conspiracy with his comrades, elected Mián Ghulám Nabí, son of Miàn Núr Muhammad (Khudá Yárkhán) and raised him to the throne instead of Mahmúd Khán, as he was related to the Junejahs.*