Sher Ali Khan

"Shir Ali Khan" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Shir Ali Khan, Iran.
Sher Ali Khan
Emir of Afghanistan

Amir Sher Ali Khan in 1869
Emir of Afghanistan
Reign Barakzai dynasty: 1863 – 1879
Predecessor Dost Mohammad Khan
Successor Mohammad Afzal Khan
Born 1825
Kabul, Afghanistan
Died February 21, 1879
Kabul, Afghanistan
Burial Blue Mosque, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
Full name
Sher Ali Khan Barakzai
Dynasty Barakzai dynasty
Father Dost Mohammed Khan
Mother Bibi Khadija[1]
Religion Shia Islam

Sher Ali Khan (Pashto: شير علي خان )(c. 1825 February 21, 1879) was Amir of Afghanistan from 1863 to 1866 and from 1868 until his death in 1879. He was the third son of Dost Mohammed Khan, founder of the Barakzai Dynasty in Afghanistan.

Sher Ali Khan initially seized power when his father died, but was quickly ousted by his older brother, Mohammad Afzal Khan. Internecine warfare followed until Sher Ali defeated his brother and regained the title of Emir. His rule was hindered by pressure from both Britain and Russia, though Sher Ali attempted to keep Afghanistan neutral during their conflict. In 1878, the neutrality fell apart and the Second Anglo-Afghan War erupted. As British forces marched on Kabul, Sher Ali Khan decided to leave Kabul to seek political asylum in Russia. He died in Mazar-e Sharif, leaving the throne to his son Mohammad Yaqub Khan.[2]

Sher Ali was closely affiliated to the modern-day region of Potohar in Pakistan. He married one of his daughters to a prominent tribal chief of the Gakhars, Khan Bahadur Raja Jahandad Khan. After independence, the Gakhars tribe became part of Pakistan.

See also


  1. Vogelsang, Willem (2002). "16-War with Britain". The Afghans. LONDON: Willey-Blackwell, John Willey & SOns, Ltd, UK. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-4051-8243-0.
  2. Dupree: Amir Sher Ali Khan
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Regnal titles
Preceded by
Dost Mohammad Khan
Emir of Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Mohammad Afzal Khan
Preceded by
Mohammad Azam Khan
Emir of Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Mohammad Yaqub Khan
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