BASĀWAN, SHAIKH, a ranked Muslim officer at Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's court, started his career as an assistant to Misr Belī Rām, who had entered the Mahārājā s service in 1809 and who in 1816 had become superintendent of the toshākhānā or treasury. Basāwan by dint of hard work gradually rose in rank and status and had been made a colonel of the Khālsā army by 1838 when under the Tripartite Treaty he was given command of the Muslim contingent (6, 146 men and 140 pieces of artillery) to escort Shahzādā Taimūr to Kābul across the Khaibar. Shaikh Basāwan accomplished the task efficiently, occupying 'Alī Masjid on 29 July 1839 and reaching Kābul in time to participate in the victory parade there on behalf of the Khālsā army. Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General of India, expressed "high satisfaction" with the conduct of Colonel Shaikh Basāwan, to whom he sent a sword "in testimony of his gallantry and determination. "


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut-Twārīkh. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Khushwant Siṅgh, A History of the Sikhs, Princeton, 1963, 1966

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