Amānullāh Khān

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King Amanullah Khan Royal Portrait

Amānullāh Khān (Pashto: امان الله خان‎) was the sovereign of the Kingdom of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Emir and after 1926 as Malik (King). After the third Anglo-Afghan War, Afghanistan was able to pursue an independent foreign policy free from the influence of the United Kingdom. His rule was marked by dramatic political and social change, attempting to modernize Afghanistan on Western designs, which he did not fully succeed in, due to an uprising by Habibullah Kalakani and his followers. On 14 January 1929, Amanullah abdicated and fled to neighbouring British India as the Afghan Civil War began to escalate. From British India he went to Europe where after 30 years in exile died in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1960.

Quotes about Amānullāh Khān

  • I cannot understand why the Ali Brothers are going to be arrested as the rumours go, and why I am to remain free. They have done nothing which I would not do. If they had sent a message to the Amir, I also would send one to inform the Amir that if he came, no Indian so long as I can help it, would help the Government to drive him back.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2018). Why I killed the Mahatma: Uncovering Godse's defence. New Delhi : Rupa, 2018.
  • I would, in a sense, certainly assist the Amir of Afghanistan if he waged war against the British Government. That is to say, I would openly tell my countrymen that it would be a crime to help a government which had lost the confidence of the nation to remain in power.
    • Mahatma Gandhi. May 4, 1921. Gandhi commenting on the appeal to the Amir of Afghanistan to invade British India proposed by some Muslim leaders. Quoted from B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946).
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