Shah Zaman, ruler of Afghanistan first invasion took place from December 1793 to March 1794. The Shah halted at Peshawar. After a sharp skirmish with Milkha Singh of Rawalpindi it returned to Peshawar & then to Kabul. The second invasion took place Nov-Dec 1795 and Shah Zaman reached Rohtas. Ranjit Singh, a lad of 15 years withdrew from Rohtas fort and retired at Pind Dadan Khan. Bhatti Jatsikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his messengers to Daulat Rao Sindhia, master of Delhi Agra-Gwalior region, at Aligarh, inviting him to join the Sikhs in expelling the Afghan invader. Sindhia did not gave an encouraging response. A revolt in Herat compelled Shah Zaman to returned to Afghanistan in Jan 1796.

Shah Zaman again invaded Punjab for the third time in Oct-Nov 1796. Ranjit Singh delivered a surprise attack on Durrani troops at Pind Dadan Khan and then crossed the river Jhelum. Shah Zaman reached Lahore on 1st January 1797. The Sikhs retired to Amritsar. Ranjit Singh at the head of 9,000 troops lay encamped to the north of Amritsar. On 11 January 1797, a detachment of the Durrani army attacked Amritsar. The Sikhs repulsed it inflicting heavy loss. The main Afghan army under Shah zaman arrived at Amritsar on 12 January. The Shah was defeated, and he was pursued to the very walls of Lahore. On 13 January, Ranjit Singh wrote to Sahib Singh of Patiala to join them against the invader. He never sent a reply. Ranjit Singh, the future Maharaja of Punjab made a name for himself in this battle. His troops kept of attacking Shah Zaman who left Lahore in Feb 1797 for Afghanistan.

References :-

  • Hari Ram Gupta – History of the Sikhs Vol. V The Sikh Lion of Lahore
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