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BASAWAN, SHAIKH, a ranked Muslim officer at Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s court, started his career as an assistant to Misr Beli Ram, who had entered the Maharaja`s service in 1809 and who in 1816 had become superintendent of the to shakhana or treasury. Basawan by dint of hard work gradually rose in rank and status and had been made a colonel of the Khalsa army by 1838 when under the Tripartite Treaty he was given command of the Muslim contingent (6,146 men and 140 pieces of artillery) to escort Shahzada Taimur to Kabul across the Khaibar.

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