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Biography of Azad Khan Afghan

Written by Najim Azadzoi

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Azad Khan Afghan was the son of Suleiman Khan from Andar, Ghazni, who became the Shah of Iran after death of Nadir Afshar. Following the murder of Nadir Afshar in 1774, there were two Afghan cavalry brigades commanded by two Afghan generals In Persia (Iran). One was Ahmad Khan Abdali who returned to Kandahar and established the Durrani Empire; the other general, a much senior and more powerful, was Azad Khan Afghan with 12,000 Afghan Ghilzai (Ghilji) Pashtuns stationed in Azerbaijan.

My Success and Victory over the Enemy is a “God Given”
Among those who surrendered to “Allah” is “Azad”, (Azad Khan Afghan)
This a poem know to be of Azad Khan Afghan himself, translated by M.N. Azadzoi.

Azad Khan was determined to reestablish the Hotaki dynasty in Iran. First he secured his position in Azerbaijan and made the citadel of Uremia his base. He conquered Kerman and the surrounding areas north-east of Iran. The Georgian king, Taymoraz, and his son, Heraclios (Erakli) invaded Azerbaijan but Azad Khan defeated them and conquered Georgia (Gurjistan) and married the daughter of the Georgian king. Then, Azad Khan focused towards the south and decided to return to Afghanistan. Dr. Gandasingh, an Indian historian in his book of Ahmad Khan Durrani writes: “Azad Khan had a much greater plan. He wanted to unite Iran, Afghanistan, and Hindustan under one rule and create a vast Empire.” In 1750, Azad Khan defeated his rivals, Karim Khan Zand, and Hasan Khan Qajar and conquered Isfahan, the Capital of the Safavid Empire. He sat on the throne of the Safavid Empire and proclaimed himself as the king of Persia in 1751.

The map is also provided by M.N. Azadzoi.

Professor John Perry in his book, “Karim Khan Zand” writes:

“The Durrani king (Ahmad Shah Durrani) while in Niashapur sent friendly letters to Karim Khan Zand promising army and wealth if Karim can prevent Azad Khan from coming towards the east, Afghanistan.”

According to Prof. John Perry, the two, Ahmad Khan Durrani and Karim Khan Zand made a treaty to divide the Persian Empire among themselves, keeping Azad Khan in the north and Khursan as the buffer zone. But Azad Khan, although 17 years older than Ahmad Shah Durrani and a much senior leader, never wanted to face Ahmad Khan Abdali and fight another Afghan army.

Events and disturbances in the north once again brought Azad Khan to Azerbaijan, but this time his fate took him towards Kurdistan, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. His last days were with the Georgian king as a guest until his rival, Karim Khan Zand invited him to come to Iran and join his rule of Iran. Azad Khan accepted the invitation and spent his last days in Shiraz until he died in peace in 1781 A.D. and was buried there.

 

Mohur of Azad Shah Afghan
Azad Khan Afghan appoints Abdal Khan governor of Pusht Kuh, a post formerly held by Abdal Khan’s father ‘Ali Salih Khan. www.asnad.org
Karim Khan Zand
Fort of azad khan in ghazni by M.N. Azadzoi
Mohur of Azad Shah Afghan

 

For more on Azad Khan Afghan, please check out the following book in Dari

Price: $20 (plus shipping) To order, please contact: Azad Group 280 California Street, Suite 1 Newton, MA 02458 Tel: 617-697-7500

 

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