By Ebn Hussein (Hassan Shemrani)
Some 300 years ago, in November 1715, a powerful man passed away peacefully in Kandahar. Mirwais Hotak, a chief of the Pashtun Ghilji tribe, originally set out to free his city from continued Persian Safavid pressure.
Gurgin Khan was the Safavid governor in the lands of the Pashtuns. He suspected something about Mirwais Hotak and took him as a political prisoner and eventually sent him to the Safavid court at Isfahan, the capital of the Safavids.
Mirwais Hotak was later freed and even allowed to meet with the Safavid Shah, Sultan Husayn, on a regular basis. Having ingratiated himself with the Persian court, Mirwais sought and obtained permission to perform the pilgrimage to Makkah in the Ottoman Empire. At that time the once-powerful Safavids were declining politically and militarily, riven by internal strife, royal intrigues, and endless wars against their arch-rivals, the Ottomans. During his…
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