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Treaty of Gandamak, 1879
TREATY between the British Government and His Highness Muhammad Yakub Khan, Amir
of Afghanistan and its dependencies, concluded at Gandamak on the 26th May 1879,
by His Highness the Amir Mahommed Yakub Khan on his own part and on the part of
the British Government by Major (afterwards Sir Louis) P. L.N. Cavagnari, C. S.
From the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the present Treaty there
shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the British Government on the
one part and His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its dependencies, and
his successors, on the other.
His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its depen-dencies engages, on the
exchange of the ratifications of this Treaty, to publish a full and complete
amnesty, absolving all his subjects from any responsibility for intercourse
with the British forces during the war, and to guarantee and protect all
persons of whatever degree from any punishment or molestation on that account.
His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its depen-dencies agrees to conduct
his relations with Foreign States in accordance with the advice and wishes of
the British Government. His Highness the Amir will enter into no engagements
with Foreign States, and will not take up arms against any Foreign State,
except with the concurrence of the British Government. On these conditions the
British Government will support the Amir against any foreign aggression with
money, arms, or troops, to be employed in whatsoever manner the British
Government may judge best for this purpose. Should British troops at any time
enter Afghanistan for the purpose of repelling foreign aggression, they will
return to their stations in British territory as soon as the object for which
they entered has been accomplished.
With a view to the maintenance of the direct and intimate relations now
established between the British Government and His Highness the Amir of
Afghanistan, and for the better protection of the frontiers of His Highness's
dominion, it is agreed that a British Representative shall reside at Kabul,
with a suitable escort, in a place of residence appropriate to his rank and
dignity. It is also agreed that the British Government shall have the right to
depute British Agents with suitable escorts to the Afghan frontiers,
whensoever this may be considered necessary by the British Government in the
interests of both States, on the occurrence of any important external fact.
His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan may on his part depute an Agent to reside
at the Court of His Excellency the Viceroy and Governor-General of India, and
at such other places in British India as may be similarly agreed upon.
His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its dependencies guarantees the
personal safety and honourable treatment of British Agents within his
jurisdiction; and the British Government on its part undertakes that its
Agents shall never in any way interfere with the internal administration of
His Highness's dominions.
His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its dependencies undertakes, on
behalf of himself and his successors, to offer no impediment to British
subjects peacefully trading within his dominions so long as they do so with
the permission of the British Government, and in accordance with such
arrangements as may be mutually agreed upon from time to time between the two
In order that the passage of trade between the territories of the British
Government and of His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan may be open and
uninterrupted, His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan agrees to use his best
endeavours to ensure the protection of traders and to facilitate the transit
of goods along the well-known customary roads of Afghanistan. These roads
shall be improved and maintained in such manner as the two Governments may
decide to be most expedient for the general convenience of traffic, and under
such financial arrangements as may be mutually determined upon between them.
The arrangements made for the maintenance and security of the aforesaid roads,
for the settlement of the duties to be levied upon merchandise carried over
these roads, and for the general protection and development of trade with and
through the dominions of His Highness, will be stated in a separate Commercial
Treaty, to be concluded within one year, due regard being given to the state
of the country.
With a view to facilitate communications between the allied Governments and to
aid and develop intercourse and commercial relations between the two
countries, it is hereby agreed that a line of telegraph from Kurram to Kabul
shall be constructed by and at the cost of the British Government, and the
Amir of Afghanistan hereby undertakes to provide for the protection of this
In consideration of the renewal of a friendly alliance between the two States
which has been attested and secured by the forgeoing Articles, the British
Government restores to his Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its
dependencies the towns of Kandahar and Jelalabad with all the territory now in
possession of the British armies, excepting the districts of Kurram, Pishin
and Sibi. His Highness the Amir of Afghanistan and its dependencies agrees on
his part that the districts of Kurram and Pishin and Sibi, according to the
limits defined in the schedule annexed, shall remain under the protection and
administrative control of the British Government : that is to say, the
aforesaid districts shall be treated as assigned districts, and shall not be
considered as permanently severed from the limits of the Afghan kingdom. The
revenues of these districts, after deducting the charges of civil
administration, shall be paid to His Highness the Amir.
The British Government will retain in its own hands the control of the Khyber
and Michni Passes, which lie between the Peshawar and Jelalabad districts, and
of all relations with the independent tribes of the territory directly
connected with these passes.
For the further support of His Highness the Amir in the recovery and
maintenance of his legitimate authority, and in consideration of the efficient
fulfillment in their entirety of the engagements stipulated by the foregoing
Articles, the British Government agrees to pay to His Highness the Amir and to
his successors an annual subsidy of six lakhs of Rupees.
Done at Gandamak, this 26th day of May 1879, corresponding with the 4th day of
the month of Jamadi-us-sani, 1296 A. H.
AMIR MAHOMMED YAKUB KHAN
N. CAVAGNARI, Major