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Durrani empire, popular protests, 1747–1823

Yury V. Bosin


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The Durrani empire emerged in 1747 as fundamentally a military confederation of Pashtun ethnic groups in the Central Asian region of modern-day Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. While not a centralized state, at its peak of expansion the Durrani empire covered an area of 780,000 square miles (2,000,000 square kilometers). The empire stretched from Afghanistan across Pakistan to within 60 miles of Delhi. As a privileged ethnicity, the Pashtun dominated the royal court, bureaucracy, and army and gained most of the perquisites of the confederation. As the Durrani empire expanded its military reach, non-Pashtun nationalities were overpowered and suppressed by the Pashtun. Those who were not members of the dominant Pashtun were subjected to higher taxation and forced into compulsory military duty, while the local land and water resources of many were expropriated by the colonial empire. Swelling tensions between newcomers and the indigenous non-Pashtun population sparked open clashes and revolts against the colonial empire. The massive Baluches Rebellion of 1758 in the region is a notable example of uprisings during the Durrani empire. Due to the overwhelming military and economic power of the empire, the insurrection was crushed, with military forces laying siege to the Baluch center of Kalat for 40 days before the protests were quelled and an agreement was achieved between the warring ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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