cannon, thus making his army the second
Avitabile (1791–1850) Born in south Italy, he reached Lahore via Kabul
and was employed by Ranjit Singh in 1826. A successful but ruthless
administrator, he ruled by fear and torture. Appointed governor of Wazirabad
in 1829, he always added a civil governorship to the command of a military
brigade. Five years later (1834) Avitabile became governor of Peshawar. His
presence at Peshawar both before and after the First Anglo-Afghan War
proved to be indispensable to the British, for the force furnished by Ranjit
Singh under the conditions of the Tripartite Treaty were more inclined to
fight against than for the British. In 1842, in the wake of their retreat from
Kabul, he rendered the East India Company troops all possible assistance.
    He continued serving under Ranjit Singh’s successors, but soon sought
permission to leave, which was granted in 1843. Behind the scenes he is said
to have been in treasonable correspondence with Henry Lawrence, giving the
British useful information about the deployment of Sikh forces.
Ranjit’s successors His successors were Kharak Singh. Nao Nihal Singh,
Sher Singh, and Dalip Singh.
THE AFGHANS
Nadir Shah’s Invasion
Nadir Shah captured and sacked Delhi in early 1739 returning to Persia laden
with loot equal to three years revenue as well as the treasures of the Kohinoor
diamond and Peacock Throne. But disappointment dogged his footsteps from
this time forward; his temper soured to vindictiveness and finally crossed the
verge of sanity. When he was assassinated in 1747 he was the most hated
man of his age. His death was the signal for the break-up of Persia. The
troubles which began ended with the emergence of the Kajar dynasty; the
ever-turbulent Afghans broke away to form a new succession state. The net
result of Nadir Shah’s incursion into India was the permanent loss of Kabul.
Rise of Abdali
The Afghans found a leader of