Muhammad Amir Khan

Muhammad Amir Khan

Muhammad Amir Khan

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Nawab Muhammad Amir Khan (1768–1834) was a leader, of Pashtun origin belonging to its Salarzai branch and the first ruler of the princely state of Tonk (in the present day Rajasthan state of India). He was the son of Hayat Khan and the grandson of Taleh Khan.He is often confused as a member of the Pindaris although he was a Pathan with his Pathan contingency. British colonial writers sometimes tended to confuse the Pathans as part of the Pindaris.

He allied himself most closely with the Maratha rulers, Scindia and Holkar, on whose behalf he would set out to attack their enemies each November, after the monsoon rains. While the Pindaris tended to concentrate on the east and south central Hindustan, Amir Khan and his Pathans concentrated on the north and Rajasthan. At the height of his power, he is said to have controlled a personal following of 8,000 cavalry, 10,000 infantry and up to 200 guns. The largest contingent amongst the Pindari chiefs, by far.

In return for their services, the Maratha rulers of Gwalior, Indore and Berar often conferred land grants on the Pindaris. By the early years of the nineteenth century, these yielded additional revenues of between Rs 800,000 and Rs 2 million per annum. Sometimes, they would 'refrain from plunder' on the payment of large financial indemnities from their intended prey.

After the defeat of the Rohillas in the Rohilla War of 1774–5 against the British, he fought against them. He had acquired the town and pargana of Tonk and the...
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