18th Century - 19th Century


  • Mirwais Khan of the Hotak tribe revolts against the Persians and liberates Kandahar.


  • Shah Mahmood Hotaki, son of Mirwais Khan, captures the Safavid throne of Shah Hussain and rules Persia until 1725. He is succeeded by his cousin who rules until 1730.


  • Nadir Afshar reclaims the Persian kingdom.


  • Ahmad Shah Abdali, also known with last name of Durrani, is declared King through a Loya Jirga, consolidates power and forms one of the largest Muslim Empires at the time, stretching from Delhi to Western Iran and from Amu Darya (Oxus River) to the shores of the Arabian Sea. A distinguished warrior-poet, he dies on 23 October 1772.


  • Ahmad Shah Baba's son, Timur Shah, and grandson, Zaman Shah, prove incapable of maintaining the empire, particularly after 1798, which faces internal revolts. In 1776, the capital is moved to Kabul.


  • Shah Shuja, brother of Zaman Shah, succeeds in capturing the throne in 1803. The Sikhs revolt in the east and the Persians push from the west. By 1819, the Sikhs take control of northern Punjab, Peshawar and Kashmir. In 1826, Dost Mohammad Khan proclaims himself Amir but his attempts to reclaim Peshawar fail. Meanwhile, Iranian Qajar Shah, Mahmoud Shah (1834-48) unites with Russian military to take over Herat, which proves too difficult.


  • The Iranian-Tsarist attempt for control of western Afghanistan triggers grand design for regional hegemony by the British who support Shah Shuja once again.


  • Supported by the British and the Sikhs in return for recognizing Sikh control of Punjab and North-West Frontier, Shah Shuja defeats Amir Dost Mohammad Khan and enters Afghanistan. Amir Dost Mohammad Khan flees to Bukhara. Resistance is mounted by Afghans, which marks the First Anglo-Afghan War with 16,000 British Royal troops killed.


  • Amir Dost Mohammad Khan reclaims power and signs the Afghan-Anglo friendship treaty in 1857. The Amir dies in 1863.


  • A series of power struggles place Amir Sher Ali Khan on the throne in 1868. To solidify his control, the Amir seeks close relations with the Tsarist Russians, which triggers the Second Anglo-Afghan War.


  • British-Russian competition over influence in Afghanistan leads to Amir Sher Ali Khan's declining to permit British presence in Kabul. The British invade and push west while the Amir retreats north and dies on 21 February 1879. His son, Yaqub Khan, becomes the new Amir and signs the unpopular Treaty of Gandomak on 26 May 1879 to prevent further British advance. The treaty gives Afghan foreign affairs as well as Sibi, Kurran and Pishin to the British. To monitor the situation, Sir Louis Cavangnari arrives in Kabul and subsequently is killed in September 1879 by revolting officers. The Amir resigns and flees. In July 1880, Ayub Khan, brother of Yaqub Khan, wins a decisive victory against the British Army in the Maiwand district near Kandahar, ending the Second Anglo-Afghan War.


  • Amir Abdul Rahman Khan takes over the throne and the British withdraw from Afghanistan after the humiliating Maiwand defeat. On 12 November 1893, the Durrand Agreement is signed between Afghanistan and the British, dividing the geographic zones of responsibility between the two. Nouristan is converted to Islam in 1895 and all of Afghanistan is brought under a single control by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, who dies in 1901.