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Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan
غازى ميرزمان خان کنرى


دغازي ميرزمان خان لنډه پيژندنه

زندگينامه مختصر غازى مير زمان خان کنرى

جبهۀ چهارم جنگ استقلال و نقش میرزمان خان کنری درآن

دافغانستان د خپلواکۍ شهسوار

په ملي خپلواکۍ گټنه کې د لوى خان لويه برخه

 


Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan


We are mostly the product of history. But some of us make history. In his own important way, Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan Kunari made history, as his legacy burns brightly to this very day. The officially-decreed title of Loy Khan, or Great Khan, bestowed upon him by King Amanullah Khan himself, is a glaring testimony to Mir Zaman Khan’s colossal achievements.  

Loy Khan Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan Kunari was born in 1869 (1248 AH) in the village of Lamattak in Kunar. He was the son of Haji Gulroz Khan. His great grandfather, Mohammad Akram Khan, an influential leader of the eastern ranges of the Speen Ghar (White Mountain), left his native Teera region and settled in Lamattak, Kunar, due to a tribal conflict.


 

 

The dynamics of the rise of Mir Zamani Khan to political prominence were very much imbedded in the dominant historical predilections of young Mir Zaman Khan’s time.

The natural enmity he felt towards the British oppression formed the basis of Mir Zaman Khan joining hands with the politically like-mined youths and tribal leaders of the North Western Frontier and their declaration of war against the British. In the historically well-known Sra Ghaza (Red Jihad) of 1908, Mir Zaman Khan played a leading role and thus become a household name among the general populace, both in the Frontier and in Afghanistan. This anti British position and reputation formed the basis of Mir Zaman Khan’s deep and long-standing relationship with the then young anti-British Prince Amanullah Khan, a relationship that grew stronger with time.

His relentless crossings of the Durand Line to fight the British led to a conspiracy by the regime of Amir Habibullah Khan that resulted in Mir Zaman Khan’s detention. In prison, he met numerous political personalities and other independence-minded people. After spending one year in prison, he returned to his native Kunar. It wasn’t long before he was detained again and sent to Sherpur Prison. Mir Zaman Khan was to spend five years in prison this time and wasn’t released until the death of Amir Habibullah Khan in February of 1919.     

Mir Zaman Khan was primarily a tribal chief, and based on an interminable drive to fight British oppression, he proved himself to be a courageous and shrewd military leader and an important political personality of his time. 

By mobilizing the courageous tribes of Kunar and various other tribes from the Eastern Zone behind him, to not only fight for the Afghan Independence, but to later help sustain the regime of King Amanullah Khan, Mir Zaman Khan had an undeniably important influence on the political landscape of the Independence-era Afghanistan.

Mir Zaman Khan’s close and intimate relationship with King Amanullah Khan is of particular significance. At a time of great social upheaval and political unrest, Mir Zaman Khan was one of the very few politico-military forces Amanullah Khan relied upon to maintain power. Mir Zaman Khan was so close to the King’s family that Amanullah Khan’s mother considered him as her adopted ”son”.

First and foremost, Mir Zaman Khan Kunari will, nevertheless, be remembered by history as the victorious leader of the Chatral Front, also known as the Fourth Front of the 1919 Third British-Afghan War. The Fourth Front consisted of the fronts of Asmar, Arnawai (Arando), Do Kalam and Lambrabat, where Mir Zaman Khan led the tribes forces to victory over the British. Mir Zaman Khan also played a central role in the quashing of the 1924 (1303 AH) Mangal Rebellion as well as the Shinwar Rebellion. 

In recognition of his dedication and services, Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan received four medals from the Government of King Amanullah Khan: Loy Kha (Grand Khan), Wafa, (Loyalty), Sedaaqat (Honesty), and Khedmat (Service). These medals were accompanied by the granting of land and money.

Mir Zaman Khan was a member of King Amanullah Khan’s Shura-i-Daylat (Governmental Council), created to provide consultation to the young king, and legislate and ratify new statutory laws. The Council was inaugurated in 1300 AH at the Royal Palace by King Amanullah Khan. After the 1924 Paghman Loya Jirga, or Grand Assembly, the Governmental Council was replaced by a 150-member National Assembly.

Mir Zaman Khan participated in the following three historically significant Assemblies:

1. The First Loya Jirgah (Grand Assembly) of 1921 in Jalalabad which was the very first Loya Jirga after the Afghan Independence. It consisted of members of the Governmental Council, representatives of the people of Kabul, Nengarhar, Laghman and Kunar. The main reason for the Jirga was social reforms and to ratify the Charter of the First Afghan Constitution. The Charter related to the abolition of slavery, maintaining national unity, individual freedom, civic equality and income-based taxation etc. 

2. The 1928 Third Grand Assembly (Loya Jirgah) of Paghman that was based on the renewal of the Charter of the Second Grand Assembly held in Paghman. It is worth mentioning that due to his involvement in quashing the Mangal Rebellion, Mir Zaman Khan could not participate in the Second Grand Assembly of 1924 (1303) held in Paghman. His son, Ismatullah Khan Kunari participated in the Jirga instead.

3. The historical 1920 Grand Assembly of Ada, Jalalabad, known as the Historical Unity of the Eastern Zone, taking place soon after the Afghan Independence. The Jirgal took place with support and efforts of Mir Zaman Khan, with the participation of the nearly 5,000 tribal leaders and scholars from both sides of the Frontier, including people from Laghman, Nengarhar and Kunar. The aim of the Jirga was to reassert the Afghan territorial integrity and national unity, to defend Afghan Independence and to maintain tribal unity and co-operation on both sides of the Frontier. The Jirga warned Britain to refrain from meddling in Afghan internal affairs and to cease instigating cross-border warfare, or be ready to face the wrath of the courageous Afghan tribes once more.

Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan remained loyal to the end to King Amanullah Khan and his  programs of reform and modernization.          

Ghazni Mir Zaman Khan, the courageous Mujahid commander, was martyred by the sworn enemies of Afghanistan and their internal elements at the age of 58, in February 1929, during a campaign to rally support for the kingdom of Ghazi Amanullah Khan. He was assassinated during Isha prayers at the Shinkorak Mosque, Kunar. 

As the great Persian mystic and poet, Sa’adi puts it:      

سعديا مـــــــــرد نيکونام نميرد هرگز
مرده آنست که نامش به نيکويى نبرند

 Oh Sa’adi, a man with good name never perishes
For only that whose name is associated with evil dies
A Pashto poem lavishing praise on Khan Mir Zaman Khan says:

 خاني ستا په نوم کړي فخر ته يې فخر د خانانو
تاريخ ستا يادونه ستايي ته يې فخر د ځوانانو

Lordship prides itself on you, you are the pride of lordship
History savors your memories, you are the pride of the young

 

Reference 

  • Zamunj Ghazyan (Our Warriors): The Life of Our Prominent National Warriors: Pages 198-202 – Mohammad Wali Zalmay  
  • Aman-i- Afghan Newspaper: “Volunteers for Suppressing the Rebels”, Year 5, Vol 9 & 10, pages 3-4, 1303 AH  
  • Aman-i- Afghan Newspaper: “The Logar Fight and the Total Escape of Rebels”, Year 5, Vol 13 & 14, page 9, 1303 AH  
  • Aman-i- Afghan Newspaper: “The Entry of the Eastern Braves in the Southern Fight”, Year 5, Vol 22, page 4, 1303 AH.  
  • Haqiqat Newspaper: Vol 1, 10th Edition, 1303 AH  
  • The Fourth Front of Independence: By Abdul Khaliq Ikhlas, with an Introduction, corrections and appendices by Habibullah Rafi, 2nd Edition, 2005  
  • داستقلال څلورمه جبهه، د عبدالخالق اخلاص تاليف، د حبيب الله رفيع سريزه، سمون، لمنې او نښلونې، دويم چاپ، ٢٠٠٥ کال.  
  • Keleed Weekly: The 83rd Anniversary of the Afghan Independence, Vol 23, page 14, Year 1, 1381 AH  
  • An Interview with Mr. Mohammad Arsalan Zamani, Ghazi Mir Zaman Khan’s son: August 28, 2006.  
  • 10. Afghanan Newspaper: “The Royal Rider of the Afghan Independence”, by Abdullah Ghamkhoor, page 3, 24/6/1379 AH.  
  • Fire in Afghanistan, 1914-1929, Rhea Talley Stewart, 2nd Edition, 2000, USA  
  •  Events of Grand Jirga  دارلسلطنه, Sangi Publishing, Ministry of Defense, 1303.