As salaamu alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakath,
“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.” – Gandhi.
I haven’t found a better quote to briefly describe what William Dalrymple’s latest book to hit the stands is about, titled, very aptly I must say, ‘The Return of a King’ – The Battle For Afghanistan.
- Author: William Dalrymple
- Language: English
- Pages: 608
- Price: NA
Already being touted as the most definitive analysis of the first Anglo-Afghan war (1839-1842), William Dalrymple chronicles the story of the greatest imperial disaster of the British Empire, its humiliating and embarrassing defeat at the very hands of the Afghan people it wanted to conquer and enslave but who rose to the call of Jihad after just two years that the British had set foot in. Sensing a threat from the Russians from the north western frontier to their interests in India when the then current ruler of Afghanistan was unable to quell the internal fighting between different tribes within Afghanistan which the British thought the Russians would take advantage of, the British supported and installed the pro-Empire, Shah Shuja Durrani as the ruler of Afghanistan, (Did I hear you say Hamid Karzai?), everything was fine when the Afghan people saw this as an arrangement to suppress internal strife and bring about at-least a semblance of peace and tranquility…but when the British Empire allowed its troops to bring about their families, this was seen by the local Afghans that the British were looking for permanent occupation. The Afghans took note.
The rest is history.
About 17,000 British troops left Afghanistan. Only one managed to reach the British garrison in Jalalabaad.
Wa alai kumm as salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakath.