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Title: British policy on the north-west frontier of India 1889-1901 /
Author: Harris, Leslie
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1960
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By 1888 the idea of a "Scientific Frontier" based on Kabul and Kandahar, first suggested after the Second Afghan War, had been accepted by military authorities in England and India, who were prompted by fear of Russian aggression. The idea was to occupy this line in case of a Russian move towards India, or in case of domestic troubles in Afghanistan following Abdur Rahman's death. To be in a position to occupy this line without delay it was necessary to secure lines of communication. Lord Lansdowne, with this end in view, pressed on plans that had already been begun and made new plans for the acquisition of control over all the passes leading from India into Afghanistan. This meant a movement into tribal territory, which added political and administrative implications to the military problem, and aroused the jealousy of the Afghan Amir. Relations with the Amir were improved by the Durand Agreement of 1893 which brought the tribes within the British sphere of influence. To meet the other problems Lansdowne enunciated a new policy of direct tribal relations and recommended but did not implement a scheme for a separate frontier administration. Lord Elgin pursued Lansdowne's policy, pushed forward in all the passes, occupied Chitral (from which the strategic line might be outflanked), demarcated the Durand Line, and insisted on an active tribal policy. This forward movement contributed to tribal unrest which produced the uprising of 1897. Following the uprising, policy was re-evaluated but Elgin's Viceroyalty ended before positive conclusions had been reached. Lord Curzon attacked the problem energetically and, brooking no opposition, completely re-organized the military defences of the border, (without departing from the idea of a "Scientific Frontier"), set in motion a new method of tribal control, and completed his plan by the creation of the North-West Frontier Province".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available