Thursday, 19 August 2021

treaty of rawalpindi

Marking the anniversary of the Anglo-Afghan peace of 1919 that ended the protectorate status under the British Empire, ratified on this day, Afghanistan Independence Day is commemorated as its national holiday.

British forces had occupied Kabul since 1842 with Wazir Akbar Khan routing the army of Major-General Elphinstone on the road to Jalalabad, eventually precipitating a second Anglo-Afghan war that resulted in a negotiated settlement that created Mandatory Afghanistan with Britain responsible for defence and foreign relations, in exchange for protection from Russia and Persia, maintaining this state of affairs as a buffer for the Raj, stipulating that for external matters Afghanistan would “have no windows looking on the outside world, except towards India.” Despite protestations from the Ottoman Empire, Afghanistan remained neutral during World War I, and having suffered heavy losses, a process of demobilisation began as the global conflict was coming to an end, fighting broke out at the frontier, ultimately resulting in a truce that established the border at the Durand Line, presently the land border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and an agreement not to foment revolt in the Indian colonies. A marble triumphal arch, the Taq-e Zafar, was erected in the the city of Paghman to mark the treaty that restored the country’s independence.