100 Years Ago… – Fresh sign in Afghanistan

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Imprisonment of Nasrullah Khan

Al Hakam, 21-28 April 1919

It has been said previously with regard to the current state of affairs in Afghanistan that after the murder of Amir Habibullah Khan, Nasrullah Khan, along with some government officials, was imprisoned. 

Nasrullah Khan was among those vehement opponents who acquired the death penalty fatwa for Hazrat Sahibzada Abdul Latif Shaheedra. Thus, he has a deep-rooted grudge and bitterness against the Jamaat. 

Sahibzada Abdul Latif’s martyrdom has in it eternal life and his memory shall always live on with reverence and grandeur for eternity. He did not shudder in the slightest out of fear of expressing the truth and considered easy laying down his life for his faith and what he believed to be the truth. 

Not only is Nasrullah Khan answerable for the death of this pious individual, but now, as events have transpired, he is responsible for the death of the Amir – his biological brother. For this, he has been sentenced to life in prison. 

These incidents can do a lot in bringing a person towards the right path, provided one opens their eyes.

The actual news story is as follows:

The Pioneer, Allahabad, 23 April 1919: We learn that at a public durbar held in Kabul on the 13th instant Nasrulla Khan was found guilty of having instigated the murder of the late Amir and sentenced to imprisonment for life. A like sentence was passed on a Court page found guilty of complicity in the crime while an Afghan Colonel, accused of having actually committed the murder, was executed. When the Jalalabad soldiery withdrew their allegiance from Nasrulla Khan they arrested and treated with ignominy the members of the powerful Musahiban family, including the late Commander-in-Chief, but these were all honourably acquitted by the durbar. The events described, which appear to have been brought about without internal disturbance, seem to indicate that the new Amir holds a very strong position. The fact that only a few persons have been punished for the assassination of Habibulla, moreover, suggests a restraint that is remarkable for Afghanistan.”

[Following this, news outlets covered this story in the days that ensued. A passage from The Leader – an Indian newspaper – is presented below.]

“Durbar at Kabul – Murder of the Late Amir; Sardar Nasrullah Imprisoned for Life; Stirring Speech by the Present Amir.

“Information regarding the important durbar held at Kabul on 3 April is now filtering through to the frontier. The Amir, who was dressed in khaki, explained the object of the durbar by saying that he wished to present to the assembly the inquiries he has made and the tentative conclusions he had formed regarding his father’s murder and to ask the durbar for their opinion and guidance in deciding this all important matter. The papers and files were then produced and the complicity and fate of Sardar Nasrullah Khan were discussed. Some of those assembled advocated death sentence. The Amir himself recommended imprisonment for life. The discussion finally resulted in the unanimous finding by the durbar that Sardar Nasrullah Khan should be punished by imprisonment for life. Colonel Shah Ali Raza was convicted of the actual assassination and sentenced to death, a sentence which was carried out immediately after the durbar. 

“Before the durbar closed the Amir made a stirring speech. The emotion with which he delivered it evidently made a great impression on the assembly and the passage which impressed them most is said to have been to this effect:

‘The object which occupied my mind ever since the death of my lamented father [Abdur Rahman Khan] and which by the grace of God and through the sincere help and loyalty of both civil and military, has now been achieved, is vengeance for my father’s murder. Ever since his death I have worn khaki and on hearing of his death I drew my sword (the Amir here raised his sword aloft) and have kept it drawn until now when I sheathe it once more in triumph at my success.’

“On the durbar coming to a close the Amir rode away followed by the crowd of durbaris.”

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