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Total population
300,000 to 800.000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Pashtu, Hindko, Urdu, Kandhari, Sindhi, Punjabi[2][3]
Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism[4]
Related ethnic groups
other Bene Israel, Persian Jewish

Hindki (Pashto: هندکي‎) or Hindu Pathans is the name given to an ethnic group who inhabit Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. They are found all over the country.[1] H. W. Bellew, in his Races of Afghanistan, estimated their number at about 300,000 to 800.000.[1] The name Hindki is also loosely used by Hindu Pathans on the upper Indus, in Dir and Bajour, to denote the speakers of Punjabi or any of its dialects.[1][5] It is sometimes applied in a historical sense to the Buddhist inhabitants of the Peshawar Valley north of the Kabul River, who were driven thence about the 9th or 10th century C.E. and settled in the neighbourhood of Kandahar during the arrival of Islam.[1]


The name originally was different and called Hindu Pathans or Hindu Kushans living in Afghanistan and North Pakistan and for people who practice Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism or Zoroastrianism. The name was during Islam arrival to difficult to pronounce so many Muhammadans gave the original name of Hindu Kushans or Hindu Pathans the name Hindki in Afghanistan. It is also said that Jewish Persian have mixed with Hindu Kushans and thereby created the Pathans and later on the Hindki's. Jewish King Afghana was well known at ancient Gandhara and the Hindki's or Kushan's where Hindi speakers.

British anthropologist Horace Arthur Rose says:

Hindki, a generic term, half contemptuous, applied to all Muhammadans who being of Hindu origin speak Hindko and have been converted to Islam in comparatively recent times. In Bannu the term usually denotes a Jat cultivator, but in a wider sense it includes all Muhammadans who talk Hindi, Panjabi or any other dialect derived from them.[6]

Hindi's and Hindkowans in Peshawar from Afghanistan[edit]

Peshawar has historically had a significant population of Hindkowans but also many Hindki's who went from Afghanistan to Peshewar. The Hindu population want away from Afghanistan when the Durand Line was given and thereby Afghanistan created in 1919. After the first Afghan state april 1709, and after the Afghan Empire, October 1747 many Hindu's went away from Afghanistan, during 19 August 1919 mostly all Hindu groups went to Peshewar.

James Douis records of the population of Peshawar in 1916 that "Half of the people are Pathans, the rest are known generally as Hindkowans."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hindki". Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  2. ^ "Introduction". Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  3. ^ "Hindus Abandon Afghanistan". Hinduism Today. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  4. ^ Majumder, Sanjoy (2003-09-25). "Sikhs struggle in Afghanistan". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Castes, Tribes, and Leading Families - Excerpts from the Gazetteer of the Kohat District". Khyber Gateway. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  6. ^ A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West provinces, compiled by H A Rose, vol II Page 333
  7. ^ The Punajab North West Frontier Province and Kashmir by Sir James Douie Low price publications page 299

External links[edit]