CHAPTER 8 THE KHAMSA MELIKDOMS THE REIGN OF NADIR SHAH (1736-1747) POLITICAL AND SOCIAL UPHEVALS

Of course, if the meliks had conducted a more flexible and circumspect policy, they would have found a definite solution to the problem. The absence of a centralizing power and policy added to their misconduct. Their policy was local, infused with dynasticism and private conflicts, lacking a generalized, secular, ultimately territorial and ethnocultural sense of homeland or nation. May be Sein Shahnazar would rule the domain better than his brother, and instead of vengeance seeking they should try to find a way out from that complicated situation. In this context the meliks’ first and foremost task should be speaking on behalf of the entire nation and country as traditional leaders and spokesmen of the nation and the Khamsa Melikdoms as a whole. The salvation should be found through conducting negotiations with the new lord of Varanda and not through counteracts, as this self-destruction would encourage the Caucasian highlanders and the Tatar nomads to overrun their lands. These two powers were the principle threat to the Khamsa Melikdoms.

The chief of the Turkish Sarujalu tribe Panah Ali was longing for such a chance, which would enable him to penetrate deep into Karabakh. His dream of settling in one of the untractable Karabakh fortresses was soon to come true. He moved from Baiat to the Shahaghbiur castle of Karabakh Tigranakert which was owned by the Varanda lord. The castle was a typical medieval building with large covered halls, entrances with arched roofs, high ramparts with round towers in the corners. From here Panah instigated the Jraberd and Giulistan meliks to raise in arms against each other. Then this Turkish plunderer, allied to the new lord of Varanda – Melik Shahnazar II, attacked Khachen and soon seizing it from the Hassan-Jalalians handed it over to another traitor – to the landlord of Khrdzirstan village Mirzakhan.

The once mighty Karabakh was thus weakened. Dizak was separated from Jraberd and Giulistan.

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