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Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839) became the first ruler of the Sikh Empire after gaining independence from the Afghan Empire. He began as a young warrior, who was later chosen by Zaman Shah Durrani to serve as the governor of Punjab. He then assembled his Sikh army and began war with the Afghans, ending their rule in Punjab and driving them toward Peshawar. Ranjt Singh was succeeded by his son, Kharak Singh.