The introduction discusses the pre-colonial development of Lahore. In the Mughal era, the city’s strategic location at the junction of roads to Kabul, Multan and Kashmir made it a seat of power to which poets, artists and traders flocked. Its wealth brought European merchant travellers that spread its fame. The city later expanded under the Sikhs with the growth of the Kashmir shawl industry. During Ranjit Singh’s rule, such ex-officers from Bonaparte’s army as Jean-Francois Allard, Jean-Baptiste Ventura and Paolo Avitabile were employed in military and administrative roles. Lahore’s long and continuous history of transregional and transnational connections was overlooked by colonial writers.
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