Notwithstanding the new amir's incapacity, and some jealousy between the real leaders, Abdur Rahman and his uncle, they again routed Shere Ali's forces, and occupied Kandahar in 1867; and when at the end of that year Afzul Khan died, Azim Khan succeeded to the rulership, with Abdur Rahman as his governor in the northern province.
It is common to cut down the green wheat and barley before the ear forms, for fodder, and the repetition of this, with barley at least, is said not to injure the grain crop. Bellew gives the following statement of the manner in which the soil is sometimes worked in the Kandahar district: - Barley is sown in November; in March and April it is twice cut for fodder; in June the grain is reaped, the ground is ploughed and manured and sown with tobacco, which yields two cuttings.
Sir Donald Stewart's force, marching up through Baluchistan by the Bolan Pass, entered Kandahar with little or no resistance; while another army passed through the Khyber Pass and took up positions at Jalalabad and other places on the direct road to Kabul.
In July 1880, a few days after the proclamation of Abdur Rahman as amir at Kabul, came news that Ayub Khan, Shere Ali's younger son, who had been holding Herat since his father's death, had marched upon Kandahar, had utterly defeated at Maiwand a British force that went out from Kandahar to oppose him, and was besieging that city.
The road southwards to Ghazni and Kandahar was always naturally excellent and has probably needed little engineering, but the general principle of road-making in support of a military advance has always been consistently maintained, and the expeditions of Kabul troops to Kafiristan have been supported by a very well graded and substantially constructed road up the Kunar valley from Jalalabad to Asmar, and onwards to the Bashgol valley of Kafiristan.
The high road from Kabul to Kandahar passes this way (another reason for supposing the Tarnak to be Arachotus), and the people live off the road to avoid the onerous duties of hospitality.
Between Kabul and Kandahar exists the well-known and oft-traversed route by Ghazni and Kalat-i-Ghilzai.
In the western provinces about Kandahar (amongst the Durani Afghans - the people who claim to be Beni-Israel), and especially in Zamindawar, the spirit of fanaticism runs high, and every other Afghan is a possible Ghazi - a man who has devoted his life to the extinction of other creeds.
But General Nott held Kandahar with a stern hand, and General Sale, who had reached Jalalabad from Kabul at the beginning.of the outbreak, maintained that important point gallantly.
The greater part of the English goods sold at Herat are imported by Karachi and Kandahar - a fact which testifies to the great insecurity of trade between Meshed and Herat.