The contempt and distrust with which they were regarded by the ruler resulted in their being squeezed out of the most important military commands. We witness in effect the disbanding of the praetorian guard into which the Qizilbash had developed after the accession of Shah Tahmasp I. This is not to say that they disappeared from the scene altogether: there were still Qizilbash units in Persia during the reign of Shah 'Abbas and even down to the collapse of his dynasty in the 12th/18th century. But henceforth they were no longer the sole military caste.
After they had been neutralised the structure of the Safavid empire was fundamentally transformed. Shah 'Abbas could only achieve a lasting success by creating a counterbalance to the Qizilbash on the one hand and by compensating for the loss of military striking power on the other. He employed various means to this end. One was a procedure associated with the term shablsavani which aimed at polarising feeling among the Qizilbash. It took the form of a summons to "those loyal to the king", the royalists. It seems that in this way reliable elements among the Qizilbash were identified and then probably reorganised into fresh military units. However, we have no detailed knowledge of this.
We know a good deal more about the establishment of a new corps in the Safavid army, the cavalry formation of royal squires (qullar or ghulaman-i khassa-yi sharifa) whose commander bore the title of qullaraqasi. These royal squires, mostly Muslim converts descended from Christians of diverse races, had either come to Persia as children or had been born of Georgian, Circassian, Caucasian and Armenian parents, often prisoners of war, who had already settled in Persia. This corps, which was raised by 'Abbas shortly after his accession, proved so valuable that the Qizilbash formations were soon reduced to a half or even less of their original establishment.
As their first commander, a Georgian convert to Islam by the name of AllahvardI Khan, won great esteem and was honoured with the title of Sultan. Qullar who proved their worth could rise to high office: they were employed as governors - AllahvardI Khan himself succeeded in becoming governor of Fars - or were even appointed commanders of Turkmen troops when the latter failed to produce suitable candidates for vacant positions from among their own ranks. In time they came to occupy about a fifth of all the key positions in the administration.