On his release he had promised he would maintain the treaty of Arras and withdraw from the Netherlands; but he delayed his departure for nearly a year and took part in a punitive campaign against his captors and their allies.
The subjugation of such districts could only be by a system of effective military occupation and would be a work of time; but Alexander made a beginning by punitive expeditions, as occasion offered, calculated to reduce the free tribes to temporary quiet; we hear of such expeditions in the case of the Pisidians, the tribes of the Lebanon, the Uxii (in Khuzistan), the Tapyri (in the Elburz), the hill-peoples of Bajaor and Swat, the Cossaei (in Kurdistan); an expedition against the Arabs was in preparation when Alexander died.
Constant punitive measures were carried on by the military police; but in December 1892 a police column proceeding to establish a post at Sima was heavily attacked, and simultaneously the town of Myitkyina was raided by Kachins.
The continued misconduct of the Sana Kachins from beyond the administrative border rendered punitive measures necessary.
Since the beginning of the 19th century they have been bigoted Wahhabis, though previously regarded by their neighbours as very lax Mahommedans; during Mehemet Ali's occupation of Nejd their constant raids on the Egyptian communications compelled him to send several punitive expeditions into the district, which, however, met with little success.