WHEN NO ONE LEFT ALIVE IN LAHORE
THE INVASION OF AMIR TIMUR
Making a dead city alive again in 1421
Lahore was the passing point of many conquerors, and the city witnessed the ups and downs of the time. The greatest upheaval was that of Amir Timur, or Timur lang. The invasion of Timur to Hindustan is an event in itself. The entrance to Punjab was in 1398.
Shaikha Gakkhar was the Governor of Lahore. Perhaps only for a period of one year or less. Seeing the fall of other cities of Hindustan to the Timurids, Shaikha Gakkhar capitulated to the Timurids, and offered his assistance o them. He was the first to side with Timur. Timur knew that he was doing all this as a necessity to save himself, but even then, gave him credit for services rendered to him. In this way Lahore was saved from the first assault of the Timurids, comparing it to other fallen cities, where massacres had taken place. Once Timur had left, Shaikha Gakkhar was not willing to please the Timurids again. This report was submitted to Timur and he ordered Prince Pir Muhammed Jahangeer, Prince Rustam, Amir Sulaiman and Amir Jahan to set things right.
This party of Princes reached Lahore and ransacked it. Shaikha Gakkhar was probably put n chains and sent to the presence of Amir Timur. But most of these things are scattered here and there and little information is obtained. When Lahore was ransacked, much wealth and property was obtained from the city. It is said that the city was emptied of all its population.
Lahore was a deserted city. No one lived here. (Perhaps few did but nothing is known about the composition of Lahore in those days). When Sayyid Mubarak son of Khizr Khan became the ruler of Hindustan, he appointed Malik Mahmud Hassan as Viceroy of Lahore. Sayyid Mubarak himself entered Lahore after defeating Jasrat Ghakkhar brother of Shaikha Gakkhar. The task before Sayyid Mubarak was stupendous, to repopulate and build Lahore from a scratch. It is said that in 1421, there was not even an owl living in Lahore. The Fort and the Gates were repaired and a standing army put in the Lahore Fort. Invitations and concessions were issued all over the region, inviting people to settle and build in Lahore, with the cooperation of the state machinery itself. And that is the birth of NEW LAHORE in 1421. This resilience of Lahore to bounce back is the back bone of the Pakistani spirit.