After a time, some of the Balóch chiefs severed their

The king again sends a force to reinstate Abdun­nabí.

connection with Mír Fateh Alí Khán for certain reasons and retired from public service. When Abdunnabí, who was living on pension, heard of this, he sent a person with his petition to king Taimúr Sháh. The latter was at Jalálábád then. The Mían stated in the petition that disagreement had broken out between Mír Fateh Alí Khán and the Balóch chiefs; that Mír Suhráb had written to him calling him and promising to join him; and that if his majesty would assist him at such a junc­ture, he would get back his heriditary right and pray for his kindness. The king felt compassion for him. He ordered an army to go under the command of Ahmad Khán Núrzáí and Bóstán Khán to reinstate Abdunnabí. At the same time an order was sent to Muhammad Nasír, the Bróhí ruler of Kalát, to despatch a force to join Abdunnabí and Bóstán Khán. Accordingly that chief sent a force under a grandson of his, who joined the royal column at Derah Ghází Khán. The joint forces then crossed the river and came to the country of Muhammad Baháwal Khán Dáúdpótah. The latter, out of fear, fled to the sandy desert. The forces thence proceeded to Sind, plundering the country along the march.

Mír Fateh Alí Khán, though very anxious to check

Mír Fateh Alí Khán advances with an army and defeats the royal force.

the attacking forces, did not like to infringe the rules of etiquette by opposing the sovereign power. He therefore sent Sayyed (Ághá) Ibráhím Sháh as an envoy to the king, to request that as he had been regularly paying his annual tribute and sending other presents, his majesty might not be so unkind towards him.

Soon information was received that the enemy had arrived on the borders of Sind. The Mír immediately ordered the collection of forces, which work was entrusted to Mír Ghulám Alí Khán. Meanwhile at the suggestion of Bághah Fakír, he ordered that the families and children of Balóches be taken to Kachh and Jesalmer, so that they should be safe from the assaults of the enemy. Ahmad Khán Núrzáí had now advanced as far as Lóhrí. At this juncture Mír Suhráb Khán wrote on a blank page of the Korán, calling on Mír Fateh Alí Khán to come with his army to fight against the enemy and assuring him solemnly that he was ready to join him. Accordingly the Mír started with his army to meet the enemy. He destroyed the bridges made for the enemy’s army to cross the river. When he arrived within two stages of the enemy, Mír Suhráb sent some excuses for not joining the Mír, and forgetting the solemn promises made on the Korán, left for Sháhgarh. He locked himself up in the fort and waited there to see what the result of the engagement would be. The Mír had now no help but to proceed against the enemy alone. He had 2,000 men to fight against 40,000 Afgháns. There was a big canal flowing between them, the water in which was very deep. The Afgháns were in possession of it. When Mír Fateh Alí Khán arrived on this side of the canal, he commenced firing guns at the enemy, who readily responded. Amidst this fire the Mír ordered his horsemen to plunge into water and swim across the canal. They then fell on the enemy, sword in hand. A bloody battle ensued. Bostán Khán and the Bróhí chief, the son of Zarak,* were killed and Ahmad Khán Núrzáí was put to flight. Retreating about 6 miles, Abdunnabí advised Ahmad Khán to make a halt there in order to be able to make a sudden nocturnal attack on the Balóches. But Ahmad Khán had already lost heart and seeing a detach­ment still pursuing him, he lost all hopes of escape even. He was therefore obliged to sue for protection to the Mír, who called back his detachment. This event occurred in 1202 A.H. (1787 A.D.).

When king Taimúr Sháh heard of Ahmad Khán’s defeat

King Taimúr Sháh himself marches against the Mír, but he returns from Baháwalpur.

he was very angry. Immediately, he started with a large army for Sind. At Kandhár he was joined by Prince Mahmúd Khán. He then proceeded straight against Shikárpur. The men had to suffer much in the way for want of water. At Multán, Muhammad Nasír Khán Bróhí joined his camp. Next, the king encamped in the territory of Muhammad Baháwal Dáúd­pótah, who had already fled to the desert out of fear.

Mír Fateh Alí Khán hearing of the approach of the king wrote a petition to him giving an explanation of his conduct in reference to his fight with Ahmad Khán. “I tried my best,” said he, “to avoid fighting, but Ahmad Khán would have nothing but war. I was therefore obliged to take the defensive. Unfortunately the Khán was defeated. If I had not checked my Balóches, none of the Afgháns with him would have returned safely.” When the king got this letter, he held a council. Most of the councillors were of opinion that it would be impossible to administer the country of Sind through some Afghán Chief or any other person and that Mír Fateh Alí Khan was a fit person for the post. About the same time the king received a letter from princes Zamán Khán and Ayyúb Khán at Kábul informing him that Sháh Murád Khán, the Súbahdár of Balkh, had raised the standard of revolt and was marching against Kábul with an army of Turcomans and other tribes. At such a juncture, therefore, the king had no alternative but to march back to Kábul.

When Mír Fateh Alí Khán heard of the king’s

The Mír returns to Haidarábád which is made the Capital.

return to Kábul, he returned to Haidarábád, where he arrived in 11 days. At the same time he wrote to his brothers Mír Karam Alí Khan and Mír Murad Alí Khán, who had gone to Thar with their families, to come back to Haidarábád. These events occurred in the year 1204 A.H. (1789 A.D.). In the same year two forts were built in Thar, viz., Fatehgarh and Islámgarh,* that were 80 miles apart. The Rájahs of the neighbouring States objected, but the Mír paid no regard to their objections.

The town of Haidarábád was now selected by the Mír to be his future capital. Accordingly he built some houses in the fort for himself and his brothers and removed from Khudábád to that place. Some mosques were built, namely, those known by the names of Mulla Rahmatulláh’s mosque, Tálibsháh’s mosque (which is near the fort gate and had originally been built by Mìan Ghulámsháh) and Máí Khairí’s * mosque. All these buildings were built in the course of 9 months.

Next year 1205 A.H. (1790 A. D.) Taimúr Sháh after

Another royal force is sent to Sind but peace is made and the Mír is again confirmed as the ruler.

quenching the rebellion in Balkh and chastising the ringleaders, again sent an army to Sind under the command of Páindah Khán, who came to Shikárpur by ordinary marches. Mír Fateh Alí Khán advanced to meet him. Arriving near the place, he made a halt in order to know the feelings of the General of the royal forces. The latter, who had been already instructed to try to settle the matter without bloodshed, sent some envoys to treat for peace which the Mír was already anxious to secure. After some discussion it was settled that the Mírs should in future give as much tribute to the King as the Kalhórahs used to pay to the late King Ahmadsháh. The treaty was drawn up and signed. Páindah Khán presented a dress of honour, an elephant with a howdah and a sword set with jewels, to the Mír, on behalf of the king and gave him a fresh sanad with the signature and seal of the king, confirming him as the ruler of Sind. To acknowledge this favour, Mír Fateh Alí Khán sent his envoy, Díwán Jaspatrái* with rich presents to Kábul. On his return, the Mír put on the dress of honour and riding the elephant came to Haidar­ábád, with the pomp and glory of a ruler. This happened in the year 1207 A.H. (1792 A. D.).

It has been mentioned before, that Zarak Khán, son-in-law

The Division of Kúrs is acquired by the Mír.

to Muhammad Nasír, the Khán of Kalát was killed, while fighting for Abdunnabí with the Mír. As a compensation for that loss, Abdunnabí had ceded the tract of country watered by Kúrs or streams of rain water to the Khán.* Now that the Mír had become the sole ruler of Sind, he wanted to have back that division. Before taking it by force of arms, he was advised by his brother Mír Ghulám Alí Khán to apply for it to the king by giving some plausible reason. This was done and the king ordered the Khán of Kalát to return that part of country to the Mír. The Khán raised some objections and made some excuses, but he was after all obliged to comply with the king’s mandate. The division was accordingly taken back about the close of the above year.

Next year 1208 A.H. (1793 A.D.) Taimúr Sháh died

Death of Taimúr Sháh and the division of Sind among different Mírs.

and was succeeded by his third son Zamán Sháh. According to the old custom, the new king sent a dress of honour to Mír Fateh Alí Khán with a fresh sanad con­firming the former one. After that, Mír Fateh Alí Khan had no occasion to go out and therefore remained in his capital. He divided the country of Sind into seven shares. He retained three shares for himself, gave two shares to Mír Suhráb Khán,* one share he reserved for his own relations and one he gave to Mír Thárah Khán, Mír Mahmúd Khán, Mír Ghulám Husain Khán, Mír Bahrám Khán, and other Tálpurs.* Similarly Balóches and tribesmen were divided into 3 parties for the 3 sets of Mírs, who began to live independently in their own divisions of country. Mír Thárah gave a part of his share to Mír Fateh Alí Khán for the contribution of the annual tribute to be given to the king, but Mír Suhráb Khán wanted to have direct connection with the sovereign power by paying his share of tribute directly. In this way seven years passed away peacefully.

In 1216 A.H. (1801 A.D.) about the close of Zulhajj

Death of Mír Fateh Alí Khán.

Mír Fateh Alí Khán fell ill with a carbuncle. Seeing his end near, he made his will, appointing his brother Mír Ghulám Alí in his own place. After 5 or 6 days he expired on the 10th of Muharram 1217 A.H. (1802 A.D.). His body was taken to Khudábád and buried there in order that his bones might rest with those of his grand relations.*