Tipu contacted Zaman Shah, the ruler of Afghanistan who
ascended the throne in 1792. He was the grandson of Ahmed Shah Abdali, and like him a man
of great military reputation. Even before the accession of Zaman Shah, Tipu had negotiated
with Kabul to secure assistance. He had written in 1790-91 to Timur Shah,
the father of Zaman Shah, and to the ministers of the Court seeking military aid. In 1796,
two ambassadors were sent to Kabul to induce the Shah to undertake his meditated attack on
Delhi to rescue the Mughal Emperor and to form an alliance with Tipu against the English.
The Shah responded favorably to Tipu's request, and said that he would very soon carry out
his intention of liberating the Mughal Emperor from the English hands.
Accordingly Zaman Shah moved towards India in December 1798 and came as far as Lahore,
When in January 1799 he was compelled to beat a hasty retreat to Kabul, because the
English meanwhile had engineered a rear action on his western frontier by inducing two
Persians to seize the opportunities of his absence to attack Afghanistan. Wellesley had
despatched a Shia from Moradabad to Iran who had excited Shia-Sunni differences & had
successfully warded off the impending danger. Otherwise, as Wellesely put it, "...the
glare of Victory, the influence of religion & the allurement of plunder will draw to
his standard, numbers probably greater than have appeared united in one cause since the
days of Aurangzeb." Here too Tipu was frustrated in his efforts
to organize a grand confederacy against the English.