Abdur Rahman Khan

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Abdur Rahman Khan (Pashto: عبدر رحمان خان) (b. between 1840 to 1844 – d. October 1, 1901)[1] was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.

The third son of Afzul Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rehman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second Anglo-Afghan war.


Background and early career

Before his death in Herat, on June 9, 1863, Dost Mohammad Khan had nominated as his successor Sher Ali Khan, his third son, passing over the two elder brothers, Afzal Khan and Azam Khan. At first, the new Amir was quietly recognized. But after a few months Afzal Khan raised an insurrection in the north of the country, where he had been governing when his father died. This began a fierce contest for power between Dost Mohammad's sons, which lasted for nearly five years.

In this war, Abdur Rahman became distinguished for ability and daring energy. Although his father, Afzal Khan, who had none of these qualities, came to terms with the Amir Sher Ali, the son's behavior in the northern province soon excited the Amir's suspicion, and Abdur Rahman, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bukhara. Sher Ali threw Afzal Khan into prison, and a serious revolt followed in southern Afghanistan.

The Amir had scarcely suppressed it by winning a desperate battle when Abdur Rahman's reappearance in the north was a signal for a mutiny of the troops stationed in those parts and a gathering of armed bands to his standard. After some delay and desultory fighting, he and his uncle, Azam Khan, occupied Kabul (March 1866). The Amir Sher Ali marched up against them from Kandahar; but in the battle that ensued at Sheikhabad on May 10, he was deserted by a large body of his troops, and after his signal defeat Abdur Rahman released his father, Afzul Khan, from prison in Ghazni, and installed him upon the throne as Amir of Afghanistan.

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