Mián Sádik Alí Khán was placed on the throne, but as

Mián Sádik Alì Khán elected by Mír Abdulláh to be the ruler of Sind.

he was a pious man, he did not feel inclined to engage much in worldly affairs, and so the whole burden of managing the State affairs fell on Mír Abdulláh Khán. The latter tried his best to give satisfaction to the people by having recourse to just measures. He repealed the poll-tax and abolished the giving of presents to rulers, which were in vogue at that time and had much inconvenienced the people. As the fact was proclaimed throughout the province, the people were very glad and felt grateful to the Mír.

After a short time news was received that a large army sent by Bajesing, the Rájah of Jódhpur, was coming from the east to invade Sind, and another sent by Muhammad Nasír Khán of Kalát, with Mián Abdunnabí was marching from the north, joined by the mercenary forces of the Nuhmardís. The Mír summoned his friends for consulta­tion and after some discussion they determined to face the army of Jódhpur and then to meet the Bróhís. Prepara­tions were hurriedly made and on the third day the forces were in motion towards the sandy desert.

When the Balóch forces left Khudábád, Mián Sádik

Défeat of the Jódhpur forces by the Mír.

Alí Khán himself joined them along with Mír Abdulláh Khán, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the same. They passed the waterless desert easily as they had carried their own supply of water with them, and came to a hilly tower, where they found about 100 men armed with golden muskets posted in it. They were Rájahs and Chiefs of the Ráthór tribe, among whom the most promi­nent were Bajesing’s son and son-in-law. On the ground had assembled an innumerable army, who, when they saw the Balôches, flattered themselves with the belief that the latter had been brought to the place by fate never to return alive.

Mír Abdulláh now prepared to make an attack and began to array his army. He himself headed the central division, while he put Mír Fatéh Alí and Mír Suhráb on the two wings. The advance guard was given in charge of the veteran Mír Fatéh Khán, with Mirzó Fakír* and his son Bághah as his assistant, and consisted chiefly of Nizámánís and Jamálís and Lighárís. The kettle drums began to beat, the pípes began to play and war-cries rose in the air. At first the fight went on with guns, subse­quently swords were brought in use. A very severe battle ensued. It was a battle between the Balóches and Rájputs.

At last Mír Fateh Alí Khán gained the upper hand on his side and the Ráthórs were put to flight. Soon they were followed by others, and a general route ensued. In a short time the field was clear of the enemy, who disap­peared leaving a large number of Hindús dead and wounded, together with their heavy baggage. Valuable booty fell into the hands of the victorious Balóches,—tents, earpets, guns, elephants, camels, etc. The solid golden armlets alone, removed from the arms of the dead, were enough to cheer the hearts of the Balóch conquerors.

The conquerors had hardly taken rest when a camelman

Abdunnabí with the Bróhí forces defeated by the Mír at the Chálak Bridge.

brought to their camp a letter from Mír Fateh Alí’s brother Mír Ghulám Alí, informing them that Mián Abdunnabí had arrived as far as Ládkánah with a Boróhí force, that had been given to him by Muhammad Nasír, the Khán of Kalát, under the command of his son-in-law Zarak, on the understanding that the Mìan, when reinstated, would give him, in return, 3 laks of rupees and some part of his country; and that the army had been joined by Mehráb and Dhingánah Jatôís and by the Jhinjans, Khósahs, Nuhmardís and other tribes. When Mír Abdulláh got this news, he did not ungirdle himself. He also required his comrades not to do so either. Without losing time, he started from there in the direction of the enemy whom he met at the bridge of Chálak. There he halted opposite the enemy’s camp, Mían Abdunnabí, believing that the Balóches had arrived there after hard travelling and that they must be exhausted with fatigue, advised his friends to attack them immediately and thus to gain an advantage over them. Hastily therefore they drew up their army in three divisions, the centre being led by Mían Abdunnabí himself with the forces of the Jatóís and the Khósahs, the right wing consisting of the Kalátís or Bróhís under Zarak and the left of Nuhmardís. Seeing the advance of the enemy in the above order, Mír Abdulláh likewise divided his army in three divisions. He made Mían Sádik Alí Khán who had been brought on an elephant to the battle-field, with Mírzó Fakír and his son Bághah, go against Abdunnabí Khán. Mír Fateh Khán with the force of Nizámánís was appointed to fight with the Nuhmardís; while he himself with his cousin Mír Fateh Alí Khán on his right and Mír Suhráb Khán on his left, determined to meet the Bróhís. The battle com­menced with guns. After a brisk contest Mír Fateh Khán’s forces were pushed back. The Mír had received a bullet-wound in the last battle with the Rájpúts and that had more or less disabled him from fighting actively. At the same time Abdunnabí gained the upper hand over the column under Mían Sádik Alí and drove it back. Seeing this state of things Mír Abdulláh re-doubled his courage and called on his cousins to do the same. They left their horses and sword-in-hand made a vigorous attack on the centre of the enemy causing great confusion and killing Zarak Bróhí, Mehrab Jatóí and a number of other veteran soldiers. The result was that the enemy fled in confusion leaving much booty for the Balóches. Once more victorious, the Mían and the Mír returned to Khudábád.

Mír Abdulláh Khán now got an ample opportunity of

Mían Abdunnabí returns with reinforcements under Madad Khán Afghán and other chiefs.

attending to peaceful measures for the country. Meanwhile Mían Abdunnabí returned to Kalát, when he heard that Sardár Madad Khán Afghán had come to Baháwalpur, the country of Muham­mad Baháwal, the chief of the Daúdpótahs, with a large army from the camp of the King, and that out of fear, Muhammad Baháwal had left his capital and gone away. Abdunnabí sent a trustworthy messenger to the Sardár with rich presents and splendid promises of gold, telling him that he had been driven away by the Balóches from his country and asking him to kindly help him. At the same time, he sent messengers one after another to the King’s camp calling Mahfúz Khán to his assistance. Orders were issued by the king to Madad Khán to take the army to Sind. Accordingly the Sardár came to Sind and was met by Abdunnabí with the forces of Bróhís and Nuhmardís. Madad Khán informed him that he had to defray the expenses of the expedition from the time he had left Baháwalpur and that half of the money promised should be given to him at once in advance and the other half might be given later on. Immediately Tahsíldárs were appointed by him to demand and receive the money. Abdunnabí being thus pressed very hard, had no alterna­tive but to tell Sardár Madad Khán, that he had his vast treasures buried within his fort, that as soon as it was taken from the enemy, the treasures would be at his disposal, meanwhile the spoils gathered by the Afgháns in the country would be enough to supply provisions for the army. Knowing that these were false promises, Madad Khán called Abdunnabí’s chief advisers Biláwal son of Tájah Líkhí, Tájah Sámtiah and one other person* to put them in chains. Next he ordered them to be put in the stocks, and as he marched on to the capital of Sind, he ordered the prisoners to be tortured in order to extract the truth from them about the treasures.

Madad Khán came on like a wild hurricane plundering

Mír Abduláh advances to meet Madad Khán in the open field.

the country and devastating towns and villages in his way. When he crossed the river, heart-rending complaints were carried by the poor people to Mír Abdulláh Khán, who thought himself bound by duty to remove their grievances. He held a council with his kinsmen and proposed an immediate march to meet the Afghán Sardár and checkmate him. Mír Fateh Alí and Mír Suhráb seconded him in his proposal, but the old Mír Fateh Khán did not join them in it. His brief argument was that the king was the shadow of God and that they should not draw swords against the king’s army. But the young Mírs thought that the king should have God-like virtues in him; that he should be merciful towards his subjects and that it was inconsistent with his duty to allow poor people to be plundered, or to levy cruel taxes for his own pleasure. In short Mír Abdulláh, accompanied by Mírs Fateh Alí, Ghulám Alí and Suhráb started, leaving behind Mír Fateh Khán and Mirzó Fakír with some of the Nizámání chiefs, who had taken his side. After Mír Abdulláh Khán had travelled for two stages, the old generals left behind became very uneasy without them, and regretted not having joined them at the outset. They therefore hastened to follow them, and overtaking them, entreated the Mír with the Korán in their hands, not to attack the king’s army without ceremony, but to halt at the place for some days and let the enemy commence hostilities and be the first to assault, and then, they said, they might do what they liked in defence.

The Mír agreed to adopt the policy suggested by Mír

The Mír makes a long halt, and Madad Khán sends envoys to the Mír for peace and then goes to Khudábád.

Fateh Khán and made a long halt, where he had arrived, making preparations meanwhile for the coming fight. Soon information was received that Sardár Madad Khán had arrived within 12 miles of the Mír’s camp. While the Mírs were girding up their loins, Madad Khán hearing that his adversary was so very near, became more careful about himself and his camp. A column of Bróhís and Nuhmardís was sent to recon­noitre, and the advance guard was at once tripled. He hastily summoned a council of war and came to the conclusion that an attempt should be first made to bring about peace with the Mír. Accordingly a Bábarí Chief, with the Sardár’s Chief Secretary, were sent as envoys to the Mír with the following message : “I know that you, one and all, are brave warriors and wise men. Abdun­nabí is a fool and a mischievous person and is assisted by men who are false and treacherous. I have already punished them by putting three of them in chains. My request is that you should go back to your native places. I am coming with these fools to Khudábád as they say they have buried their treasures in the fort of Haidarábád. I know it is a lie and I wish to prove it so. For, then, I shall be able to report against them to the king and speak in your favour. I swear that I consider you all my friends and have no idea of fighting with you.”

When the above message was delivered by the envoys, the Mír gave robes of honour and horses to them. In reply the following message was sent to the Sardár through Alahdád* and munshí Anbratrái, two chief attendants of the Mír :—“We are obedient servants to the king and consider you to be our friend, or rather a near relative, in the positíon of an uncle. Some envious tongues may have spoken against us to the king but we entertain hopes that you will kindly set the matter right. As you advise, we are ready to go back, but before receiving your message we had sworn not to turn away from our adversaries. So long therefore, as your army remains there, in opposition to us, the oath cannot be broken by our turning back. If really you intend to march on to Khudábád, you may do so going along the river. After you pass another way, we shall be free and will then move to Umarkót, where our baggage is already lying.”

Sardár Madad Khán agreed to this and sent back the Mír’s envoys with presents. He then ordered the Nuh­mardís to take the lead and guide on his army. Muham­mad Nasír’s Bróhí column followed the Nuhmardís and he himself with his Afgháns went behind the Bróhís. In this order the royal army moved to Khudábád, where it arrived in one day and night.

As soon as they arrived at the capital, Abdunnabí

Oppression of Madad Khán and Abdunnabí on the people of Sind.

was pressed to produce the treasures promised by him. To satisfy this demand Abdunnabí was obliged to send his men to collect gold and silver, wherever they could find them. Madad Khán also left his own men to their own ways to go about plundering towns and villages and securing by force whatever valuables they could find with the people. A reign of terror now Commenced. Every one, high or low, rich or poor, was beaten and deprived of his property, “even to the clothes on their persons, to the shoes in their feet and to the mats in their houses,”* not to mention other kinds of oppression and cruelty, that were practised on them by these unprincipled and unchecked villains. Cries and wailings went up to Heaven from every direction and all prayed to God for immediate relief and mercy.*

When Mír Abdulláh Khán heard at Umarkót that the

Mír Abdulláh leaves Umarkót with a large army to help the people to oppose Madad Khán.

people of Sind were being treated mercilessly at the hands of the mixed hordes of Afgháns, Bróhís, Nuhmardís and Sindís, he was very sorry at having followed Mír Fateh Khán’s advice in not opposing the Afghán Sardár at the outset. He therefore again called his cousins Mírs Fateh Alí and Ghulám Alí and his uncle Mír Suhráb and after some close consultation determined to march against Madad Khán, disregarding the dissentient voice of the old Mír Fateh Khán. Immediate orders were issued for the expedition and the army was ready before the next morning. Mír Fateh Khán perceiving the movements of Mír Abdulláh came with his comrades and joined him at the very first stage. The Mír reproached him openly for his mistaken policy and held him responsible for the grievances of his countrymen. Mír Fateh Khán, though admitting the wisdom and advisability of the expedition, still recom­mended the amicable settlement of affair by words instead of arms. But the Mír quietly pursued his own plans and started straight for Khudábád being still accompanied by Mír Fateh Khán, who did not like to remain behind his chief.

When Sardár Madad Khán heard of the approach of the

Correspondence between the Mír and Madad Khán and the disagreement of Mír Fateh Khán.

Mír’s forces he became restless. He issued urgent orders to march, and the next morning he left Khudábád and encamped about 6 miles from the Mír’s camp. Here Mír Abdulláh sent—the following message to the Sardár, through his envoy Alahdád—“You were a great chief and I trusted your word. I never thought that you would say one thing and do another. You may be powerful, but that is no reason why you should oppress the poor people and make them feel your power. All are creatures of the same God and you should fear that God or else His punishment will overtake you, sooner or later.”

When the Sardár got this message, he was much ashamed. He sent the following reply to the Mír with his own confidential men. “O! noble Mír, your words are noble. You are doubtless young in years, but old in wisdom and experience. I value your advice and I myself do not like to oppress the creatures of God. As Abdunnabí would not give me the promised gold or even provisions for the army, the latter was obliged to go about plunder­ing. Properly speaking, it is he who is responsible to God for this oppression and not I. As for my words of honour and the promise made by me, I assure you that I have repeatedly sent letters to his majesty, recommending you to be the administrator of this country, on condition that you should regularly send the fixed tribute to the royal coffers. I undertake to do the desirable, but if you are faithful to the king and true to me, come to visit me, who am your guest, with your kinsmen Fateh Alí, Fateh Khán and Suhráb. But in the first place disband your army, for that will be the proof of your faithfulness to the king. Thereby you will gain your object, and your enemies will be greatly disappointed.”

When this message was received, Mír Abdulláh declared his inability to agree to it, as he said he could not dismiss his men, who were all his brothren and castefellows and would be offended with him for doing so. Mír Fateh Khán, however, again appeared ready to second the Sardár’s suggestion. Mír Abdulláh therefore in consultation with Mírs Fateh Ali, Ghulám Ali and Suhráb, started with their army to meet the enemy in the open field. At the same time they nominally called Mír Fateh Khán to join them, but the latter turned his face from them, and rode away towards Umarkót with his band headed by Bághah Fakír. After a quick march Mír Abdulláh with his men arrived at Díngarh and encamped there.

When Sardár Madad Khán heard about the disagree­ment

Sardár Madad Khán goes to Umarkót where Mír Fateh Khán is induced to visit him and to fall in a trap, but he manages to escape.

between the Mírs, he tried to take advantage of their rupture. He at once marched to Umarkót and sent flattering messages to Mír Fateh Khán, calling him to visit him and promising to get him an honourable position. Mír Fateh Khán agreed but wanted some assurance. Immediately Sardár Nawáb Jang was sent by the Sardár, accompanied by Muhammad Hasan, sent on behalf of Abdunnabí to pledge word for their masters. They induced Mír Fateh Khán to come and pay respects to the Sardár, and the Mír instantly went to Sardár’s tent. After exchanging ordinary compliments, the Sardár, at first, treated him like an equal, and kept him pleased with words. After they had travelled a few stages and encamped at Lóhrí, the Sardár showed his true colours. He charged the Mír with having been a rebel, and called upon him to pay two laks of rupees to secure pardon and freedom. The Mír had no alternative but to agree to pay the amount. The Sardár next asked him abount the whereabouts of Mír Abdulláh and his kinsmen Mír Fateh Alí and Suhráb, telling him at the same time to write to them and to call them, or else he would be punished. Dumb with fear, Mír Fateh Khán wrote the letter dictated by the Sardár and despatched it with a camelman to Mír Abdulláh. Mír Fateh Khán coming to his own tent, a guard of 50 men was put over him, to watch his movements. The Mír now, for the first time saw that he had committed a blunder in deserting Mír Abdulláh. He knew that the latter would care very little for the letter sent by him, and could already imagine what tortures he would receive after the reply was received. He therefore determined to escape by some means. He selected a few horsemen from among his followers and told them outwordly to go to such and such a village and to bring such and such a Hindú, that he might take money from him to give to the Sardár. Secretly, however he instructed them to wait in a particular place with some fleet horses. The next night when the guards went to sleep, the Mír made one of his men sleep in his own bed and putting on a watchman’s dress left the place and was soon with the men waiting for him. They galloped hard and did not rest till they had arrived at the camp of Mír Abdulláh.

When the day broke, the Sardár heard of the escape of

Madad Khán goes from Lóhrí to Díngarh where the Mir’s camp is.

Mír Fateh Khán. Men were sent in all directions in search of him, but they returned unsuccessful. He soon learnt that the Mír had safely joined his kinsmen at Díngarh. His anger knew no bounds and he had the watchmen beheaded. Forthwith he left Lóhrí and came to Ubáorah, where he made a halt. From there he sent messengers to Mír Abdulláh, expressing his friendship to wards him and advising him not to believe Mír Fateh Khán, who had not yet seen much of him and did not know his intentions. “I am anxious” said he, “to meet you, as I have Abdunnabí with me and I have sworn with him to bring about reconciliation between you and by way of recommendation to give his hand into yours. I there­fore urgently request you to meet me. Should you have any misgivings about me, here, I send the Kórán to you to assure you of my truthfulness. My object simply is that this misunderstanding between you both should be removed and that there should be peace in this country. For, then, I can go back light-minded to the king and satisfy him fully about you.”

The Mír was wise enough to see through the crafty words of the cunning Sardár. His reply was therefore short and to the point. “I am a man of one word, and I have said already what I had to say. If I had no regard for the king, I would, ere this, have come to you to set matters right.” Immediately he asked Mír Fateh Alí to make preparations for war and sent word to the Sardár to expect him very soon. When Madad Khán got this reply, he became very impatient. He determined to leave the country for good and that very day crossed the river. He dismissed Abdunnabí to shift for himself, but he carried with him his three friends who had been prisoners with him.*