Habībullāh Kalakānī (c. 1890 – 17 October 1929), (حبیبالله کلکانی) also known as Habībullāh GhāzīBacha-ye Saqqā, was Emir of Afghanistan from January to October 1929 after deposing Amānullāh Khān with the help of various Ghilzai tribes who opposed modernization of Afghanistan. After gaining power, he named himself Habībullāh Khādem-e Dīn-e Rasūlallāh ("The servant of the religion of the messenger of God"). He was himself overthrown and executed on 3 November 1929 by the army of Mohammed Nadir Khan with help of the Afghan tribes from around the country. and
Habībullāh Kalakānī, an ethnic Tajik, was born in the village of Kalakān in 1890s, which is north of Kabul. His father was a water carrier, therefore he was called "Bache Saqqaw" (Son of a watercarrier) who sent him to a local madrasa to study the Qur'an.
During his adolescence, Habībullāh ventured out of his village and traveled to Kabul and later to JalalabadPeshawar, where he performed odd jobs to sustain himself. In the South, he ran into an old Sufi who told him that he would become Amir one day and then handed him an amulet to keep for good luck. and
In 1919, he returned to Kabul and joined the Afghan National Army. Due to his lack of professional qualification Habībullāh became disillusioned by his income from the army, and compounded with his disobedience and unwillingness to follow orders, he decided to return back to his village in Kalakān an had soon become head of a bandit robber band.
By 1928, Amanullah Khan had returned from Europe and brought with him vast social and cultural changes. This act, as well as pictures of Soraya Tarzi, the Queen of Afghanistan, in western attire upset the ultra-conservative Shinwari tribe and they called for the banishment of the King and the Queen from Afghanistan.
A revolt broke out in Laghman, as Habībullāh having been granted strong support used Tajik and Ghilzai gurrellas fighters. With a change of plans, he decided to resist the government officials in the north and, thus, a $10,000 bounty was placed on him.
With Amanullah's army engulfed in severe battle in Laghman and Jalalabad, Habībullāh began to attack Kabul from the north. The revolt caught steam and by then the country was in full civil war. Kabul was surrounded by the FATA tribes in the south and Habībullāh's militias to the north.
On 16 January 1929, with the King gone, Habībullāh wrote a letter to Amir Inayatullah Khan to either surrender or prepare to fight. Inayatullah Khan's response was that he had never sought nor wished to be king and agreed to abdicate and proclaim Habībullāh as the Amir on 17 January.
Kingship and overthrow
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Kalakani's first order was to change the western attire back to traditional clothing and to remove all the flowers from the presidential grounds and plant vegetables instead. He closed down women schools and all western education centres. Cruel and ruthless as he was, his fighters were responsible for mass killings, robberies and sexual assaults.
By September 1929, Amanullah Khan had stopped in Kandahar to regroup his followers and recalled his top general, Nadir Khan, from Europe. General Nadir Khan's army breezed through the west and southern Afghanistan. They had weapons and the support of the people as many volunteers joined the army.
Furthermore, Nadir Khan furnished with troops consisting of thousands of young people from tribal Waziristan and southern parts of Afghanistan. The troops fast approached Kabul and slowly began defeating the forces loyal to Kalakani.
The only man whom Habībullāh feared was coming for him. By October 1929, Kabul was surrounded by Nadir Khan's forces. Kalakani escaped from Kabul towards his village as a fugitive fearing for his life.
Habībullāh again gathered his supporters. He displayed the Quran and Nadir Khan's letter to them and waited to hear their reply. Their answer was negative because they did not trust Nadir Khan, whom they considered to be a smart leader.
Kalakani was later taken to the execution ground and executed on 3 November 1929. While he prepared for the execution, he knelt down and prayed. Habībullāh looked up to the sky and said "Oh God, I have nothing to ask from you, you have given me everything that, I have wanted, you made me Amir..." He was then executed by hanging along with several of his supporters.