Affairs in Beloochistan

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This was an event during the 1st Afghan War

Synopsis

General Nott left Quetta on 26 October 1839 to take command at Kandahar. General Willshire, returning across country from Kabul via Ghazni, reached Quetta on 31 October. On orders from Sir John Keane he immediately left for Kalat which was stormed and the ruler Mir Mehrab Khan killed.

Captain Bean, the political officer of Shawl Province, was charged with pacifying the disaffected tribes but found it a difficult task. Quetta was attacked, Kahan besieged and Kalat lost to the son of Mehrab Khan, Mir Mahomed Nusseer Khan. Nusseer Khan sought to drive the British from the country they occupied between Shikarpore and Quetta but was defeated at Dadur. General Nott returned from Kandahar and re-occupied Kalat on 3 November 1840 after the garrison had fled. Nott appointed Colonel Lewis Stacy as political officer at Kalat before returning to Kandahar.

On 1st December Nusseer Khan's army was again defeated at Kotra though he escaped. Stacy spent the next ten months negotiating with Nusseer Khan who was only 14 years old and surrounded by competing advisers. Stacy's position was undermined by proposals from the Indian government to replace him but he was supported by the chief political agent in Upper Scinde Mr Ross Bell. Eventually the young Khan was persuaded to come in and he was installed with great ceremony at Kalat on 6 October 1841.

General Nott believed that he should have had command of the force against Mir Mehrab Khan as General Willshire was subordinate to him. He also considered that it was a grave error to have stormed Kalat and killed the Khan putting Mir Shah Nawas in his place.. Indeed when he recovered Kalat he did it by reassuring the Baluchis that they would be safe from reprisals. In the end Mehrab's young son was restored to the throne and all the bloodshed had been for nothing.

Related articles

For further details of events during this period see the following articles

Capture of Kalat 13 November 1839
Siege of Kahan 11 May-29 September 1840
Attacks on Quetta 22 June-17 July 1840
Fall of Kalat mid August 1840
Battle at Nuffoosk Pass 31 August 1840
Battle of Dadur 2 November 1840
Recovery of Kalat 3 November 1840
Battle of Kotra 1 December 1840

Biographies

Entries in the Dictionary of Indian Biography 1906:
John Keane (1781-1844)
William Nott (1782-1845)
Thomas Willshire (1789-1862)

External Links

1st Afghan War Wikipedia
Afghan Wars Heritage History
Baluchistan Map Digital South Asia Library

Historical books on-line

Narrative of services in Beloochistan & Affghanistan by Lewis Robert Stacy 1848 (Google Books)

Narrative of a journey to Kal√Ęt by Charles Masson 1843 Kelat Google Books