Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1905

  Renewal in form of a treaty of agreements signed between Amir Abdur Rahman and Sir Lepel Griffin, chief political officer in Afghanistan in June and July 1880. At the death of Amir Abdur Rahman on October 3, 1901, the British Indian government insisted that the agreements with the Amir were personal and therefore subject to renegotiation with his successor. The Indian government sought modification and concessions including a more "liberal commercial policy" on the part of Afghanistan, delimitation of the Mohmand (between Afghanistan and India), and non-interference of Afghanistan in the politics of the trans-border (Indian) tribes. Britain exerted great pressure, stopping subsidy payments and prohibiting Afghan imports of arms, but Amir Habibullah did not yield.

He invited Louis W. Dane of the Indian foreign department to Kabul and, after three months of negotiations, the "Independent King of Afghanistan and its Dependencies" and Louis W. Dane, "Foreign Secretary of the Might Government of India" signed the treaty of Kabul on March 21, 1905. For Amir Habibullah this was A great victory; none of the British objectives was won, the arrears in subsidy were paid, and Britain affirmed that it would not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. The treat remained in force until repudiated by Amir Amanullah in 1919.

 


Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919

  Peace treaty between the British and the Afghans government after the third Anglo-Afghan war. It was negotiated at Rawalpindi and signed on August 8, 1919, by A.H. Grant, foreign secretary of the government of India, and Ali Ahmad Khan, commissary for home affairs. The treaty made a return to the "old friendship" between the two states contingent on negotiations started after a six month waiting period. In the meantime Britain would not permit Afghanistan to import arms and ammunition through India, the payment of a subsidy would be ended, and the arrears in payments would be confiscated. Finally, undefined portions of the Khaibar were to be demarcated by a British commission and Afghanistan was to accept the Indo-Afghan frontier as marked. An annexure stated that "the said Treaty and this letter leave Afghanistan officially free and independent in its internal and external affairs." British hopes that a contrite Amir would gain conclude an exclusive alliance were soon seen to be unrealistic. Amir Amanuallah sent a mission to the Soviet Union, Europe, and the United States and acted on his right to establish diplomatic relations with foreign powers. The Pashtun tribes on the Indian side of the frontier were made to believe that the treaty represented only a cease-fire after which war was to be resumed if Britain did not agree to various Afghan demands. Indeed it was only after a fruitless, three month conference at Mussoorie (April 17 - July 18, 1920) and the Kabul Conference (January 20 - December 2, 1921) that normal neighbourly relations between Britain and Afghanistan were established.

 


Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1921

Also called " Treaty of Kabul" because it was negotiated and signed at Kabul by Henry R. C. Dobbs, the British envoy, and Mahmud Tarzi, chief of the Afghan delegation, after arduous, eleven month negotiations. The treaty restored "friendly and commercial relations" between the two governments after the third Anglo-Afghan War and negotiations at the Mussoorie Conference and Rawalpindi. The negotiations proceeded in four phases: During the first session, January 20 to April 9, 1921, the Afghan Amir unsuccessfully demanded territorial concessions, while Britain wanted the exclusion of Russian consular offices from southeastern Afghanistan. In the second phase, from April 9 to mid-July, 1921, Britain asked Afghanistan to break the newly established diplomatic with Russia in exchange for a subsidy of 4 million rupee and weapons, as well as guarantees from unprovoked Russian aggression. When in the third stage, from mid-July to September 18, the British foreign office informed the Italian government that it was about to conclude an agreement which would, "admit the superior and predominant political influence of Britain" in Afghanistan, the Afghans refused to accept an "alliances." An exclusive treaty was impossible after Afghanistan announced ratification of the Russian-Afghan treaty of 1921. In the fourth and final stage of negotiations, from September 18 to December 8, 1921, the British mission twice made preparations to return to India, when finally an agreement was signed at Kabul on November 22, 1921. Ratifications were exchanged on February 6 of 1922.

  In the treaty both government "mutually certify and respect each with regard to the other all rights of internal and external independence." Afghanistan reaffirmed its acceptance of the boundary west of the Khaibar, subject to minor "re-alignment." Legations were to be opened in London and Kabul, consulates established in various Indian and Afghan towns, and Afghanistan was permitted to import arms and munitions through India. No customs duties were to be charged for goods in transit to Afghanistan and each party agreed to inform the other of major military operations in the frontier belt. Representatives of both states were to meet in the near future to discuss conclusion of a trade convention, which was signed in June 1923.


Anglo-Russian Convention

An agreement between Britain and Russia concluded on August 31, 1907, which was to "ensure perfect security of their respective frontiers in Central Asia and to maintain in these regions a solid and lasting peace." It divided Iran into spheres of influence between the two powers, permitted Russia to have direct relations of a nonpolitical nature with local Afghan officials in northern Afghanistan, and provided for equal access to "commercial opportunity." Tibet was to be under Chinese sovereignty but the British were free to deal with Tibetans in commercial matters while Russian Buddhists could deal with the Dalai Lama on religious matters. Although Britain was to continue its treaty obligation of 1905 to protect Afghanistan from unprovoked Russian aggression, and Russia declared Afghanistan outside her sphere of influence, Amir Habibullah saw this agreement as an attempt of solving the "Afghanistan Question" over his head. Amir Habibullah was on a state visit to India in Jan. 1907 when Britain and Russia negotiated the treaty, but he was not informed of the Convention until Sept. 10, 1907. He was shocked and felt betrayed by the British and, when he requested to agree to the Convention, he took a year with his reply, refusing the agreement. Russia never obtained the expected commercial and political benefits, and the Bolshevik government repudiated the Convention in 1918 in an attempt to win the goodwill of its Asian neighbors. As far as Afghanistan was concerned the Convention was a "dead letter" from the beginning.

 

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