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Appendix 8

(Referred to in Chapter LVIII, Footnote 5.)

Letter from SIRDAR ABDUR RAHMAN KHAN to LEPEL GRIFFIN, ESQ., dated 15th April, 1880.

Whereas at this happy time I have received your kind letter. In a spirit of justice and friendship you wrote to inquire what I wished in Afghanistan. My honoured friend, the servants of the great [British] Government know well that, throughout these twelve years of exile in the territories of the Emperor of Russia, night and day I have cherished the hope of revisiting my native land. When the late Amir Sher Ali Khan died, and there was no one to rule our tribes, I proposed to return to Afghanistan, but it was not fated [that I should do so]; then I went to Tashkent. Consequently, Amir Mahomed Yakub Khan, having come to terms and made peace with the British Government, was appointed Amir of Afghanistan; but since, after he had left you, he listened to the advice of every interested [dishonest] person, and raised fools to power, until the ignorant men directed the affairs of Afghanistan, which during the reign of my grandfather, who had eighteen able sons, was so managed that night was bright like day, Afghanistan was, in consequence, disgraced before all States, and ruined. Now, therefore, that you seek to learn my hopes and wishes, they are these: that as long as your Empire and that of Russia exist, my countrymen, the tribes of Afghanistan, should live quietly in ease and peace; that these two States should find us true and faithful, and that we should rest at peace between them [England and Russia], for my tribesmen are unable to struggle with Empires, and are ruined by want of commerce; and we hope of your friendship that, sympathizing with and assisting the people of Afghanistan, you will place them under the honourable protection of the two Powers. This would redound to the credit of both, would give peace to Afghanistan, and quiet and comfort to God's people. This is my wish; for the rest, it is yours to decide.