History of Punjab: Conquest of Multan, Kashmir, Peshawar
Conquest of Kangra
Ranjit Singh was virtually made master of all the territory to the west of Sutlej.
However, there existed several small kingdoms, such as Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Kashmir,
Multan, and Sialkote which were ruled by Afghani or local chiefs in the north-west.
Ranjit Singh first turned towards Kangra valley in which his forces fought with
Gurkhas. In the end the Gurkha leader Amar Singh Thapa fled leaving the field to the Sikhs.
Conquest of Khushab
After Kangra, Ranjit Singh sent a force under the command of Hukma Singh Chimmi to Jammu and
himself marched on to Khushab. The fort of Khushab was held by Jaffar Khan, a Baluch chief.
He gave up the city and defended the fort stoutly. Ranjit Singh invited him to vacate the
fort and in few months, Jaffar Khan accepted Ranjit singh's terms and gave up the
Conquest of Multan
Around this time, Ranjit singh also got the fort of Attock by daring operations of
Hari Singh Nalwa and Desa Singh Majithia. Now Punjab under Ranjit Singh extended
from Satluj to river attock and from Kashmir to Kasur. Early in 1817, Ranjit singh
sent a body of troops to Multan under the command of Diwan Bhiwani Das to
receive from Nawab Muzaffar Khan the tribute he owed to the Sikh Darbar.
Bhiwani das laid siege to the city, but showed little vigour to pressing it.
He made a secret pact with the Nawab which led Ranjit Singh to recall him
and deprive him of his office. Ranjit Singh planned the afresh expedition and
sent a strong force under his son Kharak Singh's charge. He arranged for
supplies to be sent by boats down the river Ravi, the Chenab and the Jhelum.
The system of passing letters was organised in such a manner that the
Maharaja received the news from Multan by relays of messengers several times a day.
Conquest of Peshawar and Kashmir
The fort of Multan was one of the strongest in the country and Nawab Muzaffar
Khan defended it with an equally strong heart. Kharak Singh's armies
lay around it without making much headway. Ranjit Singh sent a big gun
Zamzama along with Akali Phula singh's Nihang regiment. The
Zamzama was fired with effect and the gates were blown in. Akali
Phula singh made a sudden rush and took the garrison by surprise.
The grey bearded Nawab stood in his way, sword in hand to fight, resolved to
fight to death. His five sons died fighting. Two surviving sons were giving jagirs
by Ranjit singh. their descendants are still in possession of those lands in
Pakistan. Prince Kharak singh left Jodh Singh Kalsia with 600 men to guard the fort
of Multan. Now Ranjit Singh southern boundry was Multan. In 1818, A.D. Ranjit singh
won Rohtas, Rawal Pindi and Hasan Abdal. Then he made preparations to cross
the river Attock and attack Peshawar. These conquests are greatly explained
with the biography of Hari Singh Nalua . In 1819, Ranjit Singh had to attack Srinagar
again, this time he made Diwan Moti Das Governor, with Sham singh Attariwala,
Jawala Singh Padhania, and Misr Diwan Chand to further assist him in the operations
in valley. Ten successive governors administered Kashmir during Sikh regime. One
of them was prince Sher singh who carred the Sikh standard across the high mountains
into Ladakh. The conquest of Ladakh valley which was strategically very important,
made the frontier secure against the expanding influence of China. Sher Singh
sent General Zorawar Singh to march towards Tibet. Garo and Rudok were occupied and
the Lhasa armies attacked. Tibetian government signed a treaty with Zorawar's armies.