|Battle of Jamrud|
|Part of the Afghan-Sikh wars|
A portrait of the Jamrud Fort
|Emirate of Afghanistan||
|Commanders and leaders|
Dost Mohammad Khan|
Mirza Sami Khan
Hari Singh Nalwa †
Mahan Singh Mirpuri
50 pieces artillery
800 Jamrud garrison|
10,000 relief force/reinforcements
The Battle of Jamrud was fought between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the Sikh Empire on 30 April 1837. It was the last effort made by Emir Dost Mohammad Khan to recapture the former Afghan winter capital of Peshawar. Afghan forces confronted the Sikh forces at Jamrud. The garrisoned army was able to hold off the Afghans till Sikh reinforcements arrived to relieve them.
The Battle of Jamrud was fought between the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Afghans under Emir Dost Muhammad Khan. Following the consolidation of the Sikh Empire in Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had begun a wave of invasions on Afghan-held territories. The Afghans had been losing their long-held territories to Sikhs over the preceding years, and had seen their once mighty empire shrink with the loss of the Punjab region, Multan, Kashmir, Derajat, Hazara, Balakot, Attock, Peshawar, and Jamrud.
Towards the end of 1836, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa attacked and captured the small, but very strategic, fortified Khyberi village of Jamrud, situated on the south-side of a range of mountains at the mouth of the Khyber Pass. With the conquest of Jamrud, the frontier of the Sikh Empire now bordered the frontier of Afghanistan. In 1837, the Sikh Army was in Lahore for the wedding of Kanwar Nau Nihal Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Mohammad Khan, accompanied by five of his sons, rushed with his army to drive the Sikhs out of Peshawar. The Sikh general, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa was mortally injured in the battle and later died after forcing his way into the fort. Many eyewitnesses claimed Nalwa ordered his dead body to be hung outside the fort before he died, discouraging the Afghans from attacking, believing Nalwa was still alive. Nevertheless, the Sikh garrison continued fighting until Sikh reinforcements arrived from Lahore and pushed the Afghans out. The battle ended when the Afghans retreated back to Kabul.
Hari Singh was fatally injured and later died of injuries. The Afghans couldn't occupy the fort, nor were they able to gain possession of Peshawar or Jamrud. The result of the battle is disputed amongst historians. Some contend the failure of the Afghans to take the fort and the city of Peshawar or town of Jamrud as a victory for the Sikhs. On the other hand, some state that the killing of Hari Singh Nalwa resulted in an Afghan victory. James Norris, Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M International University, states that the battle's outcome was inconclusive.
In 1837, Afghan ruler Dost Mohammed Khan gathered an army to push the Sikhs back from the Khyber pass. They laid siege to the Sikh fort at Jamrud. A Sikh army advanced to relieve the siege, and the two forces met at the Battle of Jamrud. The Sikhs defeated the Afghans. The battle marked the end of the Afghan-Sikh wars.
In spite of all their efforts, however, the Afghans could neither occupy the fort of Jamrud nor dislodge the Sikhs from their position and gain possession of Peshawar.