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1976 From Khyber to Oxus--Study in Imperial Expansion by Chakravarty s.pdf

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From Khyber to Oxus A Study in Imperial Expansion Suhash Chakravarty Lecturer in History St. Stephen's College .Delhi Or i e n t Lo n g ma n Orient Longman Limited Regd. Ofice 315 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi 110 002 Other Ofices at Kamani Marg, Ballard Estate, Bombay 400 038 17 Chittaranjan Avenue, Calcutta 700 072 36A Anna Salai, Mount Road, Madras 600 002 1/24 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi 1 10 002 8011 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore 560 001 3-5-820
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  From Khyber to Oxus Study in Imperial Expansion Suhash hakravarty Lecturer n History St Stephen s College .Delhi rient ongman  Orient Longman Limited Regd Ofice 315 Asaf Ali Road New Delhi 110 002 Other Ofices at Kamani Marg Ballard Estate Bombay 400 038 17 Chittaranjan Avenue Calcutta 700 072 36A Anna Salai Mount Road Madras 600 002 1/24 Asaf li Road New Delhi 10 002 8011 Mahatma Gandhi Road Bangalore 560 001 3-5-820 Hyderguda Hyderabad 500 001 S.P. Verma Road Patna 800 001 Published by Sujit Mukherjee Orient Longman Limited New Delhi 110 002 Printed in India at Gajendra Printing Press K-32 Navin Shahdara Delhi 110 032   reface Anglo-Afghan relations in the nineteenth century have been the subject o much discussion. Generals posted on the frontier, administrators in the solitude of Simla and latter-day historians have written profusely on the theme. Some have extolled the noble savage in the Pathans; others have romanticised the might of the British Raj; and still others have busied themselves in following the intricacies of Kabul politics. Such studies have, however, been essentially mono-dimensional, concerning themselves primarily with the relations between the Indian government and the Amirs of Kabul. Little attention, if any, has been paid to the Central Asian and European aspects of the Afghan question. The present study, dealing with the crucial period from 869 to 1880, seeks to correct the perspective and aims at an original presentation of the Afghan problem. The British in India, as elsewhere, had their legends, myths and heroes. But behind these lay the concrete realities of trade and diplomacy. If an expanding market for British goods was the goal, Afghanistan by virtue of its striking location on the map provided an ideal entrepot. If the object was to launch offensives in Central Asia, the co-operation of the Afghans was indispensable. Russia was both commercial competitor and political enemy, though it was not as great a threat as it was made out to be. Thus the Afghan question involved three distinct relationships those between Kabul and Calcutta, between St. Petersburg and St. James , and between London and Calcutta. The Afghan commitments of the Indian government were not always consistent with the exigencies of European politics, while the interpretation of British interests in Central Asia could vary sharply from London to Calcutta. The tensions of these relationships make an interesting study. Afghan reactions to European expansion add a further dimension to the problem but any assessment of  them must be restricted by the limited extent of evidence available. Likewise, it would require access to Soviet archives to make a definitive appraisal of Russian motives and interests. The srcinal sources consulted, with the abbreviations used in the present study, are listed in the Bibliography at the end. I would like, however, to record here my indebtedness for permission to consult and quote from the Cranbrook, Clarendon, Salisbury, Derby, Buchanan and Strachey Papers, to the members of the families concerned. I am also indebted to the authorities and staff of the India Office Library, the Public Record Office and the British Museum in London, the Bodleian and Christ Church College Libraries in Oxford, the county Archives of Ipswich and Hertford, the Univer- sity Libraries of Cambridge and London and the St. Stephen s College Library, Delhi. My debt to other researchers in the field finds appropriate mention, usually in the footnotes, in the course of my study. My indebtedness to Dr. T G P Spear, under whose supervision the present work had srcinally emerged as a Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Cambridge, is, however, of a different kind, and I wish to record here my deep gratitude for the latitude he always allowed me in respect of my views and for his insistence on careful documentation. Many people have helped me to shape this book into a reality. Nikhilesh Banerjee and Sarabjeet Seth read through the typescript and helped with the proof-reading Hardeep Puri and Shumsher K. Sheriff extended their constant encouragement Bunty Singh goaded me into its publication and my sister, Sumitra Chakravarty, made it possible with her warm-hearted support. TO all of them I offer my sincere thanks. St. Stephen s College Del hi 22June 976
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