9. Releasing Shah Shuja
Hari Singh’s next expedition was to the state of Kashmir. He joined the
other two famous commanders, Akali Phoola Singh and Sardar Sham Singh
Attariwala, in obtaining the release of the imprisoned Shah Shuja, the
king of Afghanistan. Shuja was ousted by his own brother and he had no
alternative but to move to the Punjab and seek the protection of
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. Later, when Shuja attempted to take over Kabul,
he was defeated, imprisoned, and detained in Kashmir. His begum (wife)
requested that the Maharaja once again free her husband. In return, she
offered him the greatest and most famous of all diamonds, the Kohinoor.
The success of the expedition to bring Shah Shuja safely from Kashmir to Lahore so enraged the ruler of Afghanistan, that he sent his army to take over the fort of Attock in 1813, and oust the Sikhs. Hari Singh Nalwa, however, led his army to victory against great odds and retained Sikh control over the area.