Durrani Empire

The Durrani Empire (Pashto: د درانیانو واکمني‎, also referred to as the Last Afghan Empire) was founded in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani with its capital at Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Durrani Empire encompassed present-day Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, eastern Turkmenistan (around the Panjdeh oasis), the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan and northwestern India. With the support of various tribal leaders, Ahmad Shah Durrani extended Afghan control from Herat in the west to Kashmir and Delhi in the east, and from the Amu Darya in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. In the second half of the 18th century, after the Ottoman Empire the Durrani Empire was the second-largest Muslim empire in the world.

The Afghan army began their conquests by capturing Ghazni and Kabul from the local rulers. In 1749 the Mughal ruler ceded sovereignty over what is now Pakistan and northwestern India to the Afghans. Ahmad Shah then set out westward to take possession of Herat, which was ruled by Shahrukh Afshar. He next sent an army to subdue the areas north of the Hindu Kush and in short order all the different tribes began joining his cause. Ahmad Shah and his forces invaded India four times, taking control of the Kashmir and the Punjab region. Early in 1757, he sacked Delhi, but permitted the Mughal dynasty to remain in nominal control as long as the ruler acknowledged Ahmad Shah's suzerainty over the Punjab, Sindh, and Kashmir.

After the death of Ahmad Shah in about 1772, his son Timur Shah became the next ruler of the Durrani dynasty who decided to make Kabul the new capital of the empire, and used Peshawar as the winter capital. The Durrani Empire is considered the foundation of the modern state of Afghanistan, with Ahmad Shah Durrani being credited as "Father of the Nation".

Read more about Durrani Empire:  Reign of Ahmad Shah Durrani (1747–1772), Other Durrani Rulers (1772-1826)

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