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THe Hotakis

The Hotaki were a Pashtun (Afghan) tribe and dynasty that ruled the Persian Empire from 1722 to 1729, after defeating and replacing the Safavid dynasty. The dynasty was founded in 1709 by Mir Wais Hotak, the tribal chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns of Kandahar.

Mirwais and his followers rose against the Safavid dynasty of Persia in Kandahar City in April of 1709, killing George XI (Gurgīn Khān), the Georgian governor of Kandahar province and the direct representative of the Persian kings. Next, Mirwais ordered the deaths of the remaining Persian government officials in the region. The Afghans then defeated twice a large Persian army that was dispatched from Isfahan (capital of the Safavid Empire). 
The Hotakis
Amir - Mir Wais Khan Hotaki

Several half-hearted attempts to subdue the rebellious city having failed, the Persian Government despatched Khusraw Khán, nephew of the late Gurgín Khán, with an army of 30,000 men to effect its subjugation, but in spite of an initial success, which led the Afgháns to offer to surrender on terms, his uncompromising attitude impelled them to make a fresh desperate effort, resulting in the complete defeat of the Persian army (of whom only some 700 escaped) and the death of their general. Two years later, in A.D. 1713, an­other Persian army commanded by Rustam Khán was also defeated by the rebels, who thus secured possession of the whole province of Qandahár.

Mirwais died peacefully in 1715 from natural cause and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Aziz, who was quickly killed by Mir Wais' son Mahmud. Mir Mahmud Hotaki had Bipolar Disorder. Mir Mahmud Hotaki would eventually succumb to his bipolar disorder or manic depression after a tumultous short-lived reign. (see historical comments about his decline in mental health and insanity.)In 1722, Mahmud led an Afghan army and invaded Persia. After defeating the Persian army at the Battle of Gulnabad on March 8, 1722, he proceeded to and sacked the city of Isfahan. On October 23, 1722, Soltan Hossein abdicated and acknowledged Mahmud as the new shah of Persia.

Majority of the Persian people, however, rejected the Afghan regime as usurping. For the next seven years until 1729, the Hotakis became the de facto rulers of Persia, but the southern and eastern areas of Afghanistan remained under their control until 1738.

The Hotaki dynasty was a troubled and violent one as internecine conflict made it difficult to establish permanent control. The dynasty lived under great turmoil due to bloody succession feuds that made their hold on power tenuous, and after the massacre of thousands of civilians in Isfahan – including more than three thousand religious scholars, nobles, and members of the Safavid family – the Hotaki dynasty was eventually removed from power in Persia.

Ashraf Khan, who took over the monarchy following Shah Mahmud's death in 1725, and his soldiers were defeated in the October 1729 Battle of Damghan by Nader Shah, head of the Afsharid Turkmens. Nadir Shah had driven out the remaining Ghilzai forces from Persia and began enlisting the Abdali Afghans of Herat in his military. Nadir Shah's forces (among them were Ahmad Shah Abdali and his 4,000 Abdali troops) conquered Kandahar in 1738. They destroyed the last Hotaki seat of power, which was held by Hussien Hotaki (or Shah Hussien). Nader Shah then built the new town "Nāderābād", named after himself, next to the old destroyed Ghilzai's town.


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