§ MR. O'DONNELL
asked the Secretary of State for India, Whether an opportunity will be given to the people of Candahar of expressing their preference between the Ameer Yakoub Khan, now a prisoner in India, and Abdur Rahman, previous to the town and district being handed over by Her Majesty's Government to the latter; and, whether, as Her Majesty's Government have declared their intention of refraining from further interference with the domestic politics of the Afghan people, the imprisoned Ameer, Yakoub Khan, will be forthwith set at liberty and enabled to return to his country and supporters?
THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON,
in reply, said, it had been considered proper, at the end of the year 1879, by the then Government of India that Yakoub Khan, upon his abdication, should be transferred to India. He was not, as stated, a prisoner, but was kept there under surveillance. There was no intention of, in any way, assisting in his return to Afghanistan. While the Go- 458 vernment had, as stated in the Question, declared their intention, as far as possible, to refrain from further interference with the domestic politics of the Afghan people, they had also declared their intention to assist, if possible, in the restoration of a settled Government in Afghanistan. Certainly they had no intention of taking a step which would have the result of increasing the calamities from which Afghanistan was suffering.