William Dalrymple, a contemporary English historian writing in his 2013 book Return of a King, points out a number of parallel facts about that war and the present situation in which NATO and American forces are engaged.
The British “Army of Sind” replaced King Dost with Shah Shuja, who lived in exile in India for twenty years under British protection. The regime change by the British was successful with the two Afghan kings interchanging residences.
Dalrymple states, “Shah Shuja and President Karzai share the same tribal heritage; the Shah’s principal opponents were the Ghilzai tribes, who today make up the bulk of the Taliban foot soldiers; the same cities garrisoned by British troops are today garrisoned by foreign troops, attacked from the same rings of hills and high passes from which the British faced attacks.”
After two years as renegades, Prince Dost’s twenty-three-year-old son Prince Akbar along his comrade Fitzgerald from Pennsylvania, who was the first American in that land, return to fight the British Army of occupation. The Irish-American Fitzgerald mournfully relates the inhumane events of that war and his own adventures in becoming an Afghan prince.
About the Author
B. A. Zikria came to the U.S. to study medicine. He graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, specializing in surgery, metabolism, gastroenterology, and oncology. He has been awarded ten U.S. Patents. He is presently professor emeritus and special lecturer at Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons.
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