Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mustanfi Habibulah Khan

This photograph of Mustanfi Habibullah Khan is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Mustanfi (also seen as mostufi and mustaofi, the latter being the Arabic origin of the title) was a title approximating to state treasurer, the most powerful position in the government of Afghanistan after that of Amir Yakub Khan. Mustanfis were not elected, but subject to the ruler’s approval. They had full authority over all financial affairs, including hiring and dismissal of government personnel. Habibullah Khan is seated on a tasseled chair and wearing a small longi (turban) and chapan (tunic) covered by a shawl.

Credit: Library of Congress