Outline of the Operations of the British Troops in Scinde and Affghanistan


Outline of the Operations of the British Troops in Scinde and Affghanistan is a detailed account of British military operations in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42) and of the invasion in 1839 by the British East India Company of the province of Sind (in present-day Pakistan). The author, George Buist (1804–60), was editor of the Bombay Times and the book is heavily drawn from dispatches that appeared in that newspaper and in another Indian publication, the Monthly Times. Buist was born in Scotland and educated at Saint Andrews University and the University of Edinburgh. In addition to his newspaper work, he was an accomplished amateur scientist who collected scientific data in various fields and served as secretary to the Geographical Society of Bombay and the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India. Buist was highly critical of British policy, both in this book and in the editorial line taken by the Bombay Times. He writes that the Anglo-Afghan War began as a “war of aggression,” turned into “struggle for our own defence,” and was transformed “finally into a war of vengeance.” He opposed the policy of retaliation against the Afghans after the Kabul massacres of 1842 and argued that the war was both ruinously expensive and inimical to British interests. The British objective in starting the war was to drive the ruler of Afghanistan, Dost Mohammad Khan, from power and to replace him with Shah Shuja, who was thought to be more favorable to British interests and less susceptible to Russian pressure or blandishment. About this view Buist writes: “The more the matter is examined, the more difficult it is to discover by what process of self-delusion it was that the projectors or advocates of the Doorannee [Durrani] alliance could for a moment persuade themselves that the restoration and maintenance of the Shah Shoojah [Shujaʻ] on the throne, could conduce to any one of the ends we professed ourselves anxious to attain.”

Date Created

Publication Information

Bombay Times, Bombay


Title in Original Language

Outline of the operations of the British troops in Scinde and Afghanistan, betwixt Nov. 1838 and Nov. 1841; with remarks on the policy of the war

Type of Item

Physical Description

314 pages : illustrations ; 21 centimeters


  1. Katherine Prior, “Buist, George (1804–1860),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: August 25, 2016