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demonstrations were wn under British rule. h wires cut; but I had a war Correspondent, aderstood, brought me newspapers, the represmiss from the Kuram

ht to me to sign, the have been somewhat at us on the 28th Noes absolutely incorrect rse not allowed to be dance with truth; but countersigned it, was for the Correspondent, ot apparently realizing ut he promised that he se was not kept; telen before despatch, and Moreover, his letters, heard of for the first m, were most subverletters that I felt it to the rear.

ave all details of the the people of Great ve every opportunity f what might happen 1 pains from the first give them such inforquired from them in

ly reported, and that

the recording of facts,

act of the campaign,

y

and varied reasons

r before deciding on Correspondent's consequent excitement statements, founded formed sources, and ountersigned by the only be to keep the ce in the field, and,

PUNJAB CHIEFS' CONTINGENT

375 what is even more to be deprecated, to weaken the confidence of the troops in their Commander. It was satisfactory to me that my action in the matter met with the fullest approval of the Viceroy.

About this time my column was strengthened by the arrival of the Contingent provided by the Punjab Chiefs, under the command of Brigadier General John Watson, my comrade of the Mutiny days. The Contingent consisted of 868 Cavalry, and 2,685 Infantry with 13 guns, which were placed in position along the line of communication, and proved of great use in relieving the Regular army of escort duty. The senior Native officer with the Punjabis was Bakshi Ganda Sing, Commander-in-Chief of the Patiala army, a particularly handsome, gentlemanly Sikh, with whom I have ever since been on terms of friendly intercourse.

Towards the end of February I paid a visit to Kohat, where my wife met me; we spent a week together, and I had the pleasure of welcoming to the frontier that grand regiment, the 92nd Highlanders, which had been sent up to be in readiness to join my column in the event of an advance on Kabul becoming necessary.

CHAPTER XLVIII.

I was informed by the Viceroy's Private Secretary in the beginning of March that, unless satisfactory arrangements could soon be come to with Yakub Khan, an onward move would have to be made. Accordingly I now set about preparing for such a contingency.

Sher Ali had died in Afghan Turkestan on the 21st February, and, in communicating the event to the Viceroy, Yakub Khan wrote that he was anxious matters might be so arranged that 'the friendship of this God-granted State with the illustrious British Government may remain constant and firm.'

The new Amir was told in reply that Lord Lytton was prepared to enter into negotiations for the conclusion of peace, and for the restoration of a friendly alliance between the two Governments, provided that His Highness renounced all claim to authority over the Khyber and Michni Passes, and the independent tribes inhabiting the territory directly connected with the main routes leading to India; that the district of Kuram from Thal to the crest of the Shutargardan Pass, and the districts of Pishin and Sibi, should remain under the control of the British Government; that the foreign relations of Afghanistan should be conducted in accordance with the advice and wishes of the British Government; and that British officers should be accredited to the Kabul Government, and permitted to reside at such places as might hereafter be decided upon.

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actory. He agreed to on the understanding from interference in is authority over the in their vicinity, and bi being placed under

a personal conference >wards a settlement of Amir Cavagnari was > him to visit Kabul nt out that the places tial to the permanent eplied, expressing his d laying stress on his strict conformity with ght not be called upon

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377 of our army in the Khurd Kabul and Jagdalak Passes in 1842, and believed themselves to be quite capable of resisting our advance on Kabul. No great battle had as yet been fought; though Ali Masjid and the Peiwar Kotal had been taken, a small force of the enemy had been beaten by Charles Gough's brigade, near Jalalabad, and a successful Cavalry skirmish had occurred near Kandahar, the Afghans had nowhere suffered serious loss, and it was not to be wondered at if the fighting men in distant villages, and in and around Kabul, Ghazni, Herat, Balkh, and other places, still considered themselves undefeated and capable of defying us. They and their leaders had to depend for information as to recent events upon the garbled accounts of those who had fought against us, and it was unlikely they would be shaken in their belief in their superiority by such one-sided versions of what had occurred. On many occasions I had been amused, in listening to Afghan conversation, to find that, while they appeared thoroughly conversant with and frequently alluded to their triumphs over us, they seemed to know nothing, or had no recollection, of Sale's successful defence of Jalalabad, or of Pollock's victorious march through the Khyber Pass and the destruction by him of the chief bazaar in Kabul.

My ideas about the negotiations being premature were freely expressed to Colonel Colley,* Lord Lytton's Private Secretary, who paid me a visit in Kuram at this time, and had been a constant correspondent of mine from the commencement of the war. Colley, however, explained to me that, right or wrong, the Viceroy had no option in the matter; that there was the strongest feeling in England against the continuance of the war; and that, unless the new Amir proved actively hostile, peace must be signed. He expressed himself sanguine that the terms of the treaty which Cavagnari hoped to conclude with Yakub Khan would give us an improved frontier, and a permanent paramount influence at Kabul, the two points about which he said the Viceroy was most anxious, and to which he assigned the first place in his political programme. Lord Lytton foresaw that, whatever might be the future policy of the two European Powers concerned, the contact of the frontiers of Great Britain and Russia in Asia was only a matter of time, and his aim was to make sure that the conterminous line, whenever it might be reached, should be of our choosing, and not one depending on the exigencies of the moment, or on the demands of Russia.

The Native agent (Bukhtiar Khan), who was the bearer of the Viceroy's and Cavagnari's letters to the Amir, reached Kabul at the moment when the Afghan officials who had accompanied Sher Ali in his flight returned to that place from Turkestan. Counsel was held with these men as to the manner of receiving the British Mission; but

* The late Major-General Sir George Colley, K.C.B.

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to peace, and the Amir alliance and trust to alarmed for the safety Jakub Khan would not ult, he suggested to the of the British Mission iltimately adopted, the best arrangement that

nuel Browne's camp at Jalalabad, and on the f Louis Cavagnari, the the first phase of the agreed to the cession nd himself to conduct of the British Governrt him against external British representative, that the Amir should agent to the Viceregal ts should be at liberty erests of both countries, Overnment; that there ding peaceably within rotected, the transit of order; that a line of abul, at the expense of han Government; and ld be paid to the Amir

the exception of two column to prepare to eat which the troops as told to stay where to remain under our mment

he Queen's birthday, They were thoroughly

as the place where he

ing Captain Cook with emadar Pursoo Khatri, 5th Gurkhas, with the on the Spingawi Kotal,

MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE TRIBESMEN

379 fit and workmanlike, and being anxious that the tribesmen should see what grand soldiers I had at hand should an advance be necessary, I invited all the neighbouring clans to witness the display. The Afghans were seated in picturesque groups round the flag-staff, when suddenly, as the first round of the feu-de-joie was fired, they started to their feet, thinking that treachery was intended, and that they were caught in a trap: they took to their heels, and we had considerable difficulty in bringing them back, and in making them understand that the firing which had so upset their equanimity was only a sign of rejoicing on that auspicious anniversary. By degrees they became assured that there was no thought of taking an unfair advantage of them, and at the conclusion of the ceremony they were made happy by a present of sheep. In the afternoon an impromptu rifle meeting was got up. The matchlock men could not hold their own against our good shots armed with Martini-Henry rifles, a fact which evidently greatly impressed the tribesmen, some of whom then and there came forward and promised that if I should be required to advance on Kabul they would not oppose

me.

I took advantage of our improved relations with the Afghans, consequent on the ratification of the treaty, to enlarge our geographical knowledge of the passes which lead from Kuram towards Kabul, and the independent territories in the neighbourhood. The presence of the troops, no doubt, had something to say to the cheerful acquiescence of the tribesmen in these explorations, which they appeared to look upon as the result of a wish to make ourselves acquainted with the country assigned to us by the treaty, and having, to use their own expression, lifted for us the purdah (curtain) of their country, they became most friendly, and took a curious pleasure in pointing out to us the points of defence at which they would have opposed us, had we been advancing as enemies.

Towards the end of June I heard from Lord Lytton that he wished me to be one of the military members of a Commission of Inquiry into army expenditure and organization which was about to be convened at Simla, if I thought I could be spared from my post at Kuram. The people of the valley had by this time settled down so contentedly, and the tribesmen showed themselves so peacefully disposed, that I thought I could safely leave my post for a time, before returning to take up my abode in the neighbourhood for some years, as I hoped to do, when my appointment as Frontier Commissioner should have received the sanction of the authorities in England.

and during the passage of the Mangior defile. It was a happy circumstance that Major Galbraith, who owed his life to Captain Cook's intrepidity, and Major Fitz-Hugh, whose life was saved by Jemadar (then Havildar) Pursoo Khatri, should both have been present on the parade.

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