A History Of Afghanistan Vol 1

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Few countries present problems of greater interest to the historian than landlocked Afghanistan, the counterpart in Asia of Switzerland in Europe. At the beginning of the sixteenth century B.c. the first great migration of the Aryans swept across this rugged country in their long march from their homeland in Central Asia to the plains of India. We next read of Alexander the Great leading his army up the valley of the Helmand and crossing the mighty range of the Hindu Kush into Bactria, to win laurels in Central Asia. Two years later he again crossed these mountains and marched down the passes into the valley of the Indus to gain fresh victories in the Punjab. From this province he led his war-weary veterans across the deserts of Baluchistan to triumphal celebrations at Susa. Coming down the ages, we see another famous conqueror in Baber who, after capturing Kabul, founded the Moghul empire of India early in the sixteenth century. From this period his successors were faced with the necessity of maintaining Afghanistan as a buffer state against attacks from the Shahs of Persia to the west, and from the Uzbeg rulers of Bukhara to the north. By the Moghul Emperors Kabul and Kandahar were rightly recognized to be the keys of India and the British, who succeeded the Moghuls, are faced with the same problem today, with Russia as the successor of Bukhara. I first travelled in Central Asia nearly fifty years ago and, since that journey, I have been a keen student of the problems of which Afghanistan constitutes the kernel. The appointments which I have held have, generally speaking, kept m~ in touch with Afghanistan, whether serving as Consul in Seistan, as Consul ·General in Khurasan (where I was in political charge of the I Ierat province through a native Agent), or again as ConsulGeneral in Chinese Turkistan, when I travelled on the Pamirs. For many years I took part in the struggle for influence in Persia with Russia and, during the last Great War, I helped to foil Germany in her esi~ns on Afghanistan by the capture of her supporting missions in Persia. In writing this work, the first complete history of Afghanistan, my aim has been to supply British officials and the British public with accurate information. lf the results of my studies and journeys are also appreciated by Moslems in Afghanistan and India, I shall be doubly rewarded.
afghanistan, history of afghanistan, BRIG.-GEN. SIR PERCY SYKES, history of afghanistan vol 1