Ahmed Shah, the founder of the Durani dynasty in Afghanistan, was born in 1724. He served in early life under Nadir Shah, and on the assassination of his chief escaped to his native country, where he was proclaimed king in 1747. He became possessed of the celebrated diamond, the Kohinoor. In 1748 he invaded the Punjab, which he annexed, together with Kashmir. In 1757 he pushed on as far as Delhi, took the city, and held it for some time against the Sikhs and Mahrattas. He utterly routed the latter in 1761 at the battle of Paniput. Being then recalled to Kabul by troubles at home, he left the Punjab to the Sikhs, and devoted the rest of his life to spreading his conquests westward to the Caspian Sea. His death occurred at Murgha in 1773, and his son Timir succeeded to a vast empire, which was speedily broken up.