Afghan (Pashto: افغان; see etymology) refers to something from Afghanistan, particularly a citizen of that country. Prior to this definition, it was used by Persian speakers and those influenced by the Persian language to denote mostly the Pashtun people. In modern times, "Afghan" is still used as an ethnic term as well as the national demonym for all citizens of Afghanistan. "Pashtun" and variants from the native ethnonym for the Pashtun people, which appears in European publications of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, but is now largely used in a linguistic sense for native speakers of Pashto.
According to Encyclopaedia Iranica, the word Afghan (afḡān) in current political usage means any citizen of Afghanistan, whatever their tribal, or religious affiliation. According to the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan, all Afghans are equal in rights and obligations before the law. The fourth article of the current Constitution of Afghanistan states that citizens of Afghanistan consist of Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Aymaq, Arab, Baluch, Pashayi, Nuristani, Qezelbash, Gujjars, Brahui, and members of other tribes.
As an adjective, the word Afghan also means "of or relating to Afghanistan or its people, language, or culture".
The term "Afghani" refers to the unit of Afghan currency. It is often improperly used for a person or thing related to Afghanistan. The incorrect use of the term may have originated during the Soviet war in Afghanistan when millions of Afghans took refuge in neighboring Pakistan and Iran.
- Encyclopaedia Iranica. "AFGHAN".
- "Article 1 of the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan". Government of Afghanistan. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- "Constitution of Afghanistan". 2004. Retrieved 2013-02-16. "National sovereignty in Afghanistan shall belong to the nation, manifested directly and through its elected representatives. The nation of Afghanistan is composed of all individuals who possess the citizenship of Afghanistan. The nation of Afghanistan shall be comprised of Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkman, Baluch, Pachaie, Nuristani, Aymaq, Arab, Qirghiz, Qizilbash, Gujur, Brahwui and other tribes. The word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan. No individual of the nation of Afghanistan shall be deprived of citizenship. The citizenship and asylum related matters shall be regulated by law."
- "More on Afghani". Slate.com. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
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