DOST MUHAMMAD KHĀN, AMĪR (1791-1863), ruler of Kābul and Qandāhār, was the son of Paindā Khān (executed 1799), the Bārakzaī chief. Dost Muhammad's first engagement with the Sikhs was at Attock, the Afghān citadel, which had fallen into the hands of the Sikhs in June 1813. In the conflict which lasted three months, Dost Muhammad Khān, who himself led the attack in the battle of Haidrū, 8 km from Attock, was badly mauled by the Sikh force commanded by Dīwān Mohkam Chand. As a result of the fighting among the members of the Durrānī and Bārakzaī families, Dost Muhammad finally established himself in 1823 in Kābul, Kashmīr having been lost to the Sikhs in 1819. In 1833, Shāh Shujā', the dethroned king of Afghanistan, attempted to regain his throne, but he was defeated by Dost Muhammad Khān at Qandāhār. In 1834, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh annexed Peshāwar. Dost Muhammad Khān, resolved to recover the city, marched with an army to the Khaibar Pass in 1835, but, fearing that the Sikh army would cut off his rear, retired towards Kābul. Dost Muhammad led out another expedition in 1837, and a fierce engagement took place at Jamrūd in which the Sikh general, Harī Siṅgh Nalvā, was killed, but the fort of Jamrūd remained in the possession of the Sikhs. Soon afterwards, Dost Muhammad made overtures to the British soliciting their help for the recovery of Peshāwar. The British, however, decided to replace Shāh Shujā' on the Kābul throne. Dost Muhammad was defeated and exiled to Calcutta in November 1839. He was set free in November 1842, and re-established on the throne of Kābul. Dost Muhammad thereafter maintained cordial relations with the Sikhs and there was a regular exchange of embassies between the two governments. A representative of the Sikh kingdom was accredited to Kābul, while an agent of the Amīr was always present at Lahore. Dost Muhammad received the support of the Sikhs at the time of the treaty made at Peshāwar with the British governor-general, by which the independence of Afghanistan was recognized.

         Dost Muhammad Khān died at Herāt on 9 June 1863.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut-Twārīkh'. Lahore, 1885
  2. Khushwant Siṅgh, A History of the Sikhs. Princeton, 1963, 1966
  3. Hasrat, Bikrama Jit, Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Hoshiarpur, 1977
  4. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times. Delhi, 1990

Sardār Siṅgh Bhāṭīā