6. Army afraid of the Sikhs

The defeat of Abdali at the hands of the Sikhs sent shock waves to Kabul and Delhi. In 1764, the Sikhs punished another commander of the army. Jain Khan was away from Sirhind recovering revenues from different Nawabs, when Sikhs moved in to face him before he could get back into the fort. When encircled by the Sikhs, he tried to slip away leaving his men entangled with the Sikhs. But Jassa Singh had organized the attack very well. When Khan was leaving the battlefield to escape, the watchful Sikhs shot him dead. The regions around Sirhind were divided among the Sikh Misldars and monies recovered from the treasury were used to rebuild the Harimandar Sahib. Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib was built in Sirhind where the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh were murdered. Sikhs took over Lahore again in 1765. In 1767, when Abdali came again, he sent messages to the Sikhs for their cooperation. He even offered them the governorship of Punjab but none of them accepted it. Instead, the Sikhs continued to harass him with repeated guerilla attacks. They took away his caravan of 300 camels loaded with fruits from Kabul. As soon as he crossed the river Satlej on his way to Delhi, the Sikhs were again in control of the areas between Satlej and Ravi. Jassa Singh had so well prepared his men to fight that Abdali did not dare return to Kabul through Amritsar and Lahore. He took a long circuitous route through Multan. After his departure to Kabul, Sikhs crossed the Satlej and brought Sirhind and other areas right up to Delhi, under their control. The Emperor of Delhi, Shah Alam II, was staying away in Allahabad; he did not come to Delhi for fear of the Sikhs. Alam ordered his commander Zabita Khan to fight the Sikhs. Zabita, knowing that he could not face the Sikhs, made a truce with them instead. Later, Alam dismissed him from service. Zabita Khan came to the Sikhs’ camp and he was welcomed by them. He became a Sikh, and was given a new name, Dharam Singh. The high character of the Sikhs and their bravery are documented by an eye-witness and translated below:
Sikhs are great experts in the use of the sword and the art of war. Like lions, they jump on the enemy, like foxes they run away and get out of our reach. Their bodies are rock hard and in physical strength, one Sikh is the equivalent of more than 50 men. If they flee in a battle, don’t assume that they have been defeated. That is just part of their tactics because they suddenly turn back and murder all those who pursue them. Come and see these lions in the battlefield to learn the art of war from them. They do not kill a woman, a child or a coward running away from the fight. They do not rob any person nor do they take away the ornaments of a woman, be she a queen or a slave girl. They commit no adultery, rather they respect the women of even their enemies. They always shun thieves and adulterers and in generosity, they surpass Hatim. These comments are from the pen of Qazi Nur Mohammed, who came to Punjab with Abdali. These words are very significant because the Qazi was present during many Sikhs battles and himself was an enemy of the Sikhs.