Mohan Lal

Mohan Lal was a very resourceful Kashmiri who helped the British with their advance and occupation in Afghanistan. He had been a friend of Alexander Burnes and had accompanied him on his travels in the 1830s. He played an instrumental role in gathering useful intelligence for the British. In particular, he had ascertained the weakest gate to attack in the battle for Ghazni through his contacts and also was aware of the problems facing the British before the British themselves. His warnings fell on deaf ears as he was not telling them what they wanted to hear. He survived the campaign but became disillusioned with the British due to his lack of compensation for his considerable help to the British in the First Afghan War. He wrote a fascinating biography of Dost Mohammed which throws a great deal of light on the events of the First Afghan War. It is titled: Life of the Amir Dost Mohammed Khan, of Kabul: with his political proceedings towards the English, Russian, and Persian governments, including victory and disasters of the British Army in Afghanistan

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by Stephen Luscombe