Hari Singh Nalwa


    In Context

    • Afghanistan, which has earned the name of graveyard of the empires, could not be controlled by anyone completely.
    • But Hari Singh Nalwa, a legendary Sikh commander, tamed the turbulent forces at play in Afghanistan and earned the reputation of the most feared Sikh warrior there.

    About Hari Singh Nalwa

    • He was one of the main and most trustworthy commanders of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s force.
    • He remained Governor of Kashmir, Hazara and Peshawar.
    • He defeated various Afghans and established control over various regions along the boundary of Afghanistan and prevented Afghans from entering Punjab through the Khyber pass, which was the main route to enter India by the foreign invaders from 1000 AD till early 19th century.
    • He had defeated thousands of Hazars, a tribe of Afghanistan, with less than three times their strength.
    • For his bravery and ferocity, the government of India released a stamp on the name of Nalwa in 2013.

    Image Courtesy: ScoopWhoop

    • Battles against Afghans:
      • He participated in various battles against Afghans because of which Afghans lost their control over various Afghan-held territories.
      • Battle of Kasur (1807):  He defeated Afghani ruler Kutab-ud-din Khan.
      • Battle of Attock (in 1813): Nalwa along with other commanders won against Azim Khan who fought on behalf of Shah Mahmud of Kabul and this was the first major victory of the Sikhs over the Durrani Pathans.
      • Battle of Peshawar (1818): Sikh army under Nalwa won the Battle of Peshawar and was asked to be stationed there. Nalwa took control over Jamrud in 1837, a fort at the entryway to Afghanistan through Khyber Pass.

    What difference did these victories against Afghans make for India?

    • Historians maintain that if Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his commander Hari Singh Nalwa would have not won Peshawar and the North-West Frontier, which is part of Pakistan now, then this area could have been part of Afghanistan and the invasions of Afghans into Punjab and Delhi would have never stopped.


    Source: IE