Post-Ghaznavid Era -Part 13

After the conquest of Pakistan and a major portion of northern India; and Bangla Desh at the end of the 12th and beginning of 13th century A.D., Mohammad Ghori appointed four Governors for the conquered regions. It should be noticed that here also Pakistan was treated as separate from India. He appointed Tajuddin Yaldaz for (Ghazna) Afghanistan, Naseruddin Qubacha for Pakistan, Qutubuddin Aibak and Shamsuddin Altamash for northern India and Bakhtiar Khilji for Bengal. When, at the death of Mohammad Ghori, Qutubuddin Aibak succeeded him in 1206, Naseruddin Qubacha, Governor of Pakistan did not consider himself or his country (Pakistan) subservient to Delhi. He remained independent as long as he was alive and it was only after his death in 1227 that Shamsuddin Altamash annexed Pakistan. From 1227 to 1739 i.e., a span of 500 years, Pakistan remained a part of India — entirely Muslim period and because of Muslim efforts.

In 1739 Nadir Shah attacked India and after defeating the Mughal Emperor Mohammed Shah (Rangeela) claimed Punjab (from Lahore westward), N .W.F.P., Baluchistan and Sind as provinces of his Empire. On the death of Nader Shah one of his generals, Ahmed Shah Abdali estabished the kingdom of Afghanistan in 1747 and made Pakistan part of his newly created state, not only de jure but de facto. He claimed Kashmir, Peshawar, Daman, Multan, Sind and Punjab upto Sutlej. Thus it will be noticed that only a few years after Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 A.D. Pakistan’s westward attachements again revived.

When the Abdali kingdom weakened early in the 19th century due to internecine warfare, Pakistan did not revert to Indian control but instead an independent kingdom arose in Punjab headed by the Sikh leader Ranjit Singh. What is most interesting is that the eastern frontiers of Ranjit Singh’s kingdom, again, did not go beyond Sutlej, the traditional frontier of Pakistan. The British who had established their control over Delhi in 803 warned Ranjit Singh not to try to impose his authority on the Sikh Sardars of East Punjab i.e., beyond Sutlej. As for Sind, from as early as the last days of Aurangzeb, it had begun to assert its independence and a succession of semi-independent dynasties under the Daudpotas, Kalhoras and Talpurs continued to rule over this province till British conquest in 1843 A.D. All these dynasties looked more towards Iran, Kabul and Qandhar than towards Delhi. Same was the case with Baluchistan which was now under the sway of the Khanate of Kalat.

Sikh rule (Sikhism?) lasted for almost half a century and when it collapsed, Pakistan as again brought under India, not by the Hindus but by an alien power, the British. After ruling over Pakistan for about a century (1848-1947) when the British relinquished control, these lands reverted back to their normal position of an independent country— this time the task was accomplished in the name of Islamic ideology since the region had acquired Muslim majority by now.

It must have become quite clear to the readers that except for the Maurya, Turko-Mughal and British periods—- one Buddhist, one Islamic and one Christian—- Pakistan invariably remained independent or part of powers located on her west. In fact there have been more occasions when northern India was ruled by Pakistan based kingdoms than Pakistan being ruled by northern Indian kingdoms. The Graeco Bactrians with their capital at Taxila ruled over a large part of northern India for quite some time; the Kushans with their seat of power at Peshawar held sway over most of the Gangetic Valley. The Sakas and Huns ruling from various cities of Pakistan brought major portion of northern India under their control.

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