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the most elaborate and correct plans (though the nature of the river as before alluded to nullified their practical value), and providing a certain degree of security to the merchant, had been effected by means only of the talents and extraordinary endurance of those who have since proved their value as diplomatists in more weighty matters, still was the jealousy and suspicion of the Sindhian chiefs, as to our real views, but little removed; and the intercourse between the British government and the Amirs was yet marked by doubt and want of faith on the part of the chiefs. The former Governor-General of India, Lord William Bentinck, attached the very highest importance to the navigation of the Indus, and was fully aware of the commercial advantages which it prospectively opened; nor was his successor less alive to these also; every exertion being made by both, to place matters on that secure and liberal footing to the merchant, and induce in the chiefs a feeling of confidence in the integrity of our intentions, as uninfluenced by ambitious motives; which were alike indispensable to the furtherance of the ends proposed. Trade, as before observed, however, by way of the Indus, did not progress; the Amirs, though on friendly terms, were by no means cordial; and matters remained in a torpid state (politically and commercially) until, at the last date, events occurred in Caubúl which gave rise to extensive warlike preparations for the countries
beyond the Indus, and Sindh became unexpectedly involved in those momentous political questions which have been of unparalleled importance, and fraught with fearful interest during the last four years. The new position which Sindh hereafter occupied has now to be described, with the events which immediately led to it.
Caubúl Campaign of 1838.-Bombay Army lands in Sindh.Promises of Chiefs to provide Supplies and Carriage. — Evasion of Promises.-Detention of Troops in consequence. — Reserve Force stationed in Sindh.-Conditions imposed on Amirs of Hyderabad.-Treaty with Khyrpúr.-Termination of First Caubúl Campaign.-Conciliatory Measures adopted to Sindh Amirs by British Representatives.-Tranquillity of Sindh.-Outbreak of Kilat Rebellion.-Alteration in Political Control of Sindh. Intrigues in Khyrpúr Family.Proposed Transfer of Shikarpúr.- Catastrophe at Caubúl. — Peaceable Demeanour of Sindhian Chiefs. - General Napier assumes Command of Troops in Sindh and Bilúchistan.
THE movement of a large force of the Bengal army from the northern provinces towards the Bolan Pass, and through a portion of the Sindhian territories, in the autumn of 1838, was accompanied by the simultaneous dispatch of a body of troops from Bombay, which were to land at the mouths of the Indus, and ascend the river's western bank, until a junction was effected with the main column, and both were then destined to accompany Shah Shujah in his triumphal march to his restored throne of Caubúl. With the events of that campaign we have nothing to do, beyond such as were intimately connected with Sindh and its politics; but as the chiefs of that country became suddenly
involved in the general policy of the north-west, a rapid glance at passing events, which, though distant, still influenced their position, and told immediately on their interests, will occasionally require to be taken, even at the risk of alluding to those topics which, it is feared, have been too much discussed already.
In December of the above year, the whole of the Bombay force under the commander-in-chief of the army, Sir John Keane, landed at the Hujamri mouth of the Delta, where it was detained for nearly twenty days, in consequence of the total want of carriage in camels and boats, attributable to the obstacles thrown in the way of supplying both by the Sindhian durbars. Colonel Pottinger had for some time previous to the arrival of these troops been in actual attendance at Hyderabad, for the purpose of making preliminary arrangements, and securing the necessary supplies from the chiefs. The Amirs had promised all that was required of them; which consisted simply in a safe passage through their territories to our troops, such supplies in grain, cattle, &c. as were requisite, and which their country afforded; a fair rate of remuneration, according to established usages, being paid for every thing used or consumed, and the most satisfactory guarantee that no molestation would be permitted by our troops to the country or its people. Long and intimately acquainted as the Amirs were with Colonel Pottinger, it seems ex
traordinary, and is only to be accounted for from their childish distrust, that they did not feel fully satisfied, if not with our national good faith, at least with that gentleman's assurances, for they had, in repeated instances, reaped the full benefit of his generous interposition in behalf of their interests, and knew how studiously he adhered on all occasions to the most trifling points of negotiation; yet, in defiance of this, the Hyderabad Amirs commenced with abundant professions of doing all that was required of them (and that was not much), but, incited by their usual system of double-dealing, and the instigations of those about them, ended by throwing such continued, though unseen, obstacles in the way, that our troops were delayed for the period above mentioned, and at a critical moment found that to trust to Sindhian promises was to place the fortunes of the war in the most serious jeopardy. The Kardars throughout the country had strict orders to yield nothing; and at Karrachi, where a large quantity of camels were promised to be kept in readiness, they were withheld, and only given up by threats of force. The conduct, in short, of the Sindh durbar on this occasion was flagrantly bad, if viewed after the promises they had so profusely given of friendship and assistance. The truth is, as we shall have occasion to mention, they disliked from the first our making a road through their territories, and only did not deny it at once, when demanded, from the fear of incurring our