Ahmad Shah Abdali, later known as Ahmad Shah Durrani, was the founder of modern Afghanistan. Before being elected king in 1747, Abdali was a cavalry general under the Persian emperor Nadir Shah. After Nadir Shah's assassination, he captured a caravan with booty coming from India, this provided him the financial backing he needed to become king. During his reign, he built a vast empire that extended from eastern Persia (Iran) to northern India, and from the Amu Darya to the Indian Ocean. Abdali was also a brilliant Pashto poet. He died in 1772, possibly as a result of skin cancer. Afghans refer to him as Ahmad Shah Baba (Ahmad Shah, the father).