|Princely State of British India|
Coat of arms
Location of Junagarh,
among all districts shown in green
|8,643 km2 (3,337 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Gujarat, India|
Junagarh or Junagadh (Urdu: جوناگڑھ) was a princely state in Gujarat ruled by the Muslim Babi dynasty in British India, until its integration into the Union of India in 1948.
Muhammad Sher Khan Babai was the founder of the Babi Pashtun dynasty of Junagarh in 1654. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagarh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra.
However, during the collapse of the Mughal Empire, the Babis became involved in a struggle with the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Empire over control of Gujarat during the reign of the local Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I. Mohammad Khan Bahadur Khanji I declared independence from the Mughal governor of Gujarat subah, and founded the state of Junagarh in 1730. This allowed the Babi to retain sovereignty of Junagarh and other princely states. During the reign of his heir Junagarh was a tributary to the Maratha Empire, until it came under British suzerainty in 1807 under Mohammad Hamid Khanji I, following the Second Anglo-Maratha War.
In 1807, Junagarh became a British protectorate and the East India Company took control of the state. By 1818, the Saurashtra area, along with other princely states of Kathiawar, were separately administrated under the Kathiawar Agency by British India.
In 1947, upon the independence and partition of India, the last Babi dynasty ruler of the state, Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III, decided to merge Junagarh into the newly formed Pakistan.
Main article: Nawab of Junagarh
The Nawabs of Junagarh belonged to Pathan Babi or Babai (Pashtun tribe). They were granted a 13 gun salute by the British authorities:
Koli rebellion in Junagarh raised by Mansa Khant during time of Nawab Sher Khan the first ruler of Junagarh. He was against Mughal Rule, Made Uparkot Fort his centre. He made a series of raids in surrounding villages and cities. Nawab was unsuccessful to control the rebellion. Mansa Khant occupied the Uparkot for thirteen months and carried out numerous raids mostly in countryside. Nawab started campaign against Khant. Nawab was assisted by king of Gondal State Thakur Sahib Haloji Jadeja and Arab Jamadar Sheikh Abdullah Zubeidi. The combined forces defeated the Khant and captured Uparkot and burnt down the rebellion.
Main article: Annexation of Junagarh
In 1947, Shah Nawaz Bhutto joined the council of ministers of Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III, and in May became his dewan or prime minister.
With the independence of India in 1947, the princely states were left by the British to decide whether to accede to one of the newly independent states of India or Pakistan or to remain independent. The Constitutional Advisor to the Nawab, Nabi Baksh, indicated to Lord Mountbatten that he was recommending that Junagarh should join India. However, upon the advice of Dewan Bhutto, on 15 August 1947, the Nawab announced that Junagarh had acceded to Pakistan. On 16 September, the Government of Pakistan accepted the accession.
India sent its military into Junagarh while the Nawab of Junagarh was in Pakistan and captured the state of junagarh overthrowing Nawab and the rights of princely states. The Annexation of Junagarh into India led the Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III of Junagarh (erstwhile Babi Nawab dynasty of Junagarh) left to live in Sindh, Pakistan.
Pakistan's government has maintained its territorial claim on Junagadh, along with Manavadar and Sir Creek in Gujarat, on its official political maps.
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