|Approx. 80-90 million (2018)|
|United States||138,554 (2010)|
|United Kingdom||100,000 (2009)|
|Canada||10,590 (2016)[verification needed]|
Dari, Hindi, Urdu and English as second languages
with small Shia and Hindu minorities
Pashtun diaspora refers to ethnic Pashtuns who live outside their traditional homeland of Pashtunistan, which is south of the Amu River in Afghanistan and west of the Indus River in Pakistan. Pashtunistan is home to the majority of the Pashtun community. However, there are significant Pashtun diaspora communities in the Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan, in particular in the cities of Karachi and Lahore, in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan States of India. Smaller populations of Pashtuns are also found in other parts of India, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (primarily the United Arab Emirates), Australia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other parts of the world.
The Pashtun ethnic group are believed to have settled in the vast Pashtunistan region in the first millennium C.E. According to Ethnologue, they currently number around 50 million, but some sources give slightly lower or higher figures. Many Pashtuns migrated and settled in the lands of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire and other regional Muslim states in the Indian subcontinent (modern Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Some later migrated and settled in Nepal and Sri Lanka) over the centuries and their descendants assimilated with the Urdu and Hindi-speaking locals. These groups are known as Pathan.
The ethnonym Afghan has been historically used since the 3rd century AD to refer to the Pashtuns, and is now used to describe every citizen of Afghanistan. Pashtuns make up the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, comprising 40-50% of the total Afghan population. Approximately 1.7 million Afghan refugees live in neighboring Pakistan. The majority of them are Pashtuns who were born in that country.
The Pashtuns are scattered all over Afghanistan, they can be found in almost every province of the country. Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan and a stronghold of the Pashtun culture. The city of Lashkargah in the south, Farah in the west, Jalalabad in the east, and Kunduz in the north are other prominent cultural centres whose populations are predominantly Pashtun.
Pashtuns are one of the largest ethnic minority in Pakistan, making up over 15% of the total population of Pakistan. Pashtuns form the majority ethnic group in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including tribal areas, and northern Balochistan.
With as many as 7 million by some estimates, the city of Karachi in Sindh Province hosts the largest concentration of urban Pashtuns population in the world Some important Pashtun cities of Pakistan include: Peshawar, Quetta, Zhob, Loralai, Killa Saifullah, Attock, Swat, Mardan, Charsada, Mingora, Bannu, Parachinar, and Swabi.
Pashtuns make up 60-70% of total population of Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Battagram Torghar District & Mansehra Pashtun Tribes speak Pushto language while Jadoons, Tareens and Dilazaks of Abbottabad & Haripur District speak Hindko language and sometimes Pashto as the second language.
The following outlines the Pashtun population in the provinces of Pakistan:
|Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||30-32 million (as per 2017 population census of Pakistan)|
|Federally Administered Tribal Areas||5.5 million|
|Balochistan||5.5 million|
|Azad Kashmir||350,000|
|Islamabad Capital Territory||450,000|
Smaller Pashtun communities outside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan can be found in the districts of Attock and Mianwali in Punjab. These and other communities of Pashtun ancestry who have long-settled in Punjab and Sindh region are often referred to as the Pathans. There are also large communities of Pathans such as Niazi and others who live in Khanewal, Kasur; and other larger communities have settled around Multan which was formerly part of the Durrani Empire. Pathan communities live in different district of Azad Kashmir.There, they are mainly settled in the districts of Poonch, Sudhnuti and Bagh. In Poonch and Sudhnuti they constitute more than 70% of the population. Kashmiri Pashtuns mainly consist of the Sadozai tribe, which is locally known as Sudhan. Approximate population of Sadozais in AJK is 1 million. Sadozai tribe has a strong hold in Rawalakot city in Azad Kashmir. A small number of other pashtun tribes in Kashmir which include Durrani, Tareen, Lodhi, Yousafzai Shinwary and Afridi tribes which extends from Azad Kashmir to India's Jammu and Kashmir. They speak local languages.
In addition to this, some Urdu-speaking communities in Pakistan trace their ancestry to the ancient Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. Some identify themselves as Bangash, Yousefzai, Ghouri and Durrani. Additionally, a significant number of descendants of Rohillas migrated to Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. The Pashtuns make up 30% of the Muhajir community in Karachi.
|Part of a series on|
India, as a British colony, once had a large Pashtun population roughly equal to that of Afghanistan, mostly concentrated in what were then the British Indian provinces of the North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. In Rohilkhand, they made large settlements subsequent to 14th century and prior to the 20th century. In fact, according to the 1911 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, the number of Pashtuns in British India was nearly 3.5 million, but the speakers of Pashto numbered less than 1.25 million. Most of this population was allotted, along with its respective provinces, to Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. Today the Pashtuns in India can be divided into those who speak Pashto and those who speak Urdu/Hindi and other regional languages, the Urdu/Hindi speaking group being the biggest. Khan Mohammad Atif, a professor at the University of Lucknow, estimates that "The population of Pathans in India is twice their population in Afghanistan".
There are many Pashto-speaking Pakhtuns in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Although their exact numbers are hard to determine, it is at least in excess of 100,000 for it is known that in 1954 over 100,000 nomadic Pakhtuns living in Kashmir Valley were granted Indian citizenship. Today jirgas are frequently held. Those settled and living in the Kashmir Valley speak Pashto, and are found chiefly in the southwest of the valley, where Pashtun colonies have from time to time been founded. The most interesting are the Kukikhel Afridis of Dramghaihama, who retain all the old customs and speak Pashto. They wear colorful dress and carry swords and shields. The Afridis and the Machipurians, who belong to the Yusufzai tribe, are liable to military service, in return for which they hold certain villages free of revenue. The Pashtuns chiefly came in under the Durranis, but many were brought by Maharajah Gulab Singh for service on the frontier. Pashto is also spoken in two villages, Dhakki and Changnar (Chaknot), located on the Line of Control in Kupwara District. In response to demand by the Pashtun community living in the state, Kashir TV has recently launched a series of Pushto-language programs.
A further small, scattered Pashtun population still exists in some major cities of India with large Muslim populations, with the majority of Pashto-speaking individuals residing in the states of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh India; who also have adopted local languages of the respective areas they live in, as their second language. These Pathans, numbering around 14,161, have retained the use of the Pashto language and are still able to speak and understand it. This is partially because until recently, most of these Indian Pashtuns were able to travel to Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
A small Hindu community, known as the Sheen Khalai meaning 'blue skinned' (referring to the color of Pashtun women's facial tattoos), migrated to Unniara, Rajasthan, India after partition. Prior to 1947, the community resided in the Quetta, Loralai and Maikhter regions of the British Indian province of Baluchistan. Today, they continue to speak Pashto and celebrate Pashtun culture through the Attan dance.
Urdu and Hindi speaking communities
The larger number of people claiming Pashtun ancestry in India are Urdu speaking. Despite the loss of most of the Raj-era Pashtun population, India still has a community of Hindustani speakers who can trace some of their ancestry to ancient Pashtun settlers. They are often referred by the Hindustani pronunciation of the word Pashtun, "Pathan".
Major Indian Pathan tribes lived in the following areas. While many persons belonging to these tribes moved to the Afghan-Pakistan border, others chose to stay and thus, descendants of these tribes still reside in the parts of India listed below:
Pashtuns in the Middle East
Hundreds of thousands of Pasthuns serving as migrant workers reside in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and other Arab countries. Many of them are involved in the transport business, while others are employees of construction companies.
There were over 100,000 Pashtuns living in Iran in 1993. The Pashtuns there are mainly concentrated in the Afghan-Iran border, in the Khorasan Province of Iran. The settling of Pashtuns in Iran goes back to the 18th century during the Durrani reign. Timur Shah Durrani, an ethnic Pashtun, the son of Ahmad Shah Durrani and King of Afghanistan, was born in Mashhad, in the Khorasan province of Iran, which was part of the Durrani empire at that time.
Pashtuns in Europe
The United Kingdom is home to some 100,000 Pashtuns, making it one of the most populous overseas Pashtun communities in the world and the most populous one in the West. Pashtun diaspora in UK have made their presence felt through their restaurants with traditional names like Bab-eKhyber, Hujra, Kabuli pulao etc. and Music. Its one of the most vibrant Pashtun diaspora in the west.
Pashtuns in other parts of the world
Pashtuns have been present in California at least since agricultural labor was imported in the early 20th century. Since the late 1970s and onwards, Pashtuns began immigrating to the USA in large numbers and are well established there. Pashtuns in the United States are famous for running top Afghan cuisine restaurants and as owners of the fast-food restaurant chain Kennedy Fried Chicken that is based in New York City.
1,690 persons characterized their ethnicity as "Pashtun" in Canada's 2006 census. However, in question 17 of Canada's Statcan census form most Pashtuns don't put their ethnicity as Pashtuns but rather Afghan or Pakistani.
In the latter part of the 19th century several thousand men from Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir, Sind, Rajasthan, Egypt, Persia, Turkey and Punjab, but collectively known as "Afghans", were recruited during the initial British development of the Australian Outback, especially for the operation of camel trains in desert areas. These consisted of men who were not allowed to bring their families with them, many married local Aborigines and are now known as Ghans. During the 1980s and 90s, Pashtuns began settling in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and other major cities of Australia.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
Pashtuns in Bangladesh are descendants of Pashtun emigrants who settled into Bangladesh during the Pathan rule of the Bengal Sultanate under the Karrani dynasty. Additional Pashtun communities of South Asia are also the Pathans of Sri Lanka, who are believed to have origins from Pathans who settled in Batticaloa, initially arriving for trade.
Since the early 1900s there have been many generations of Pashtuns who migrated from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Pashtun settlements in Thailand have been common throughout the provinces. There is even a Thai-Pashtun Friendship Association. The Pashtuns are fiercely independent, as a result they often are well treated and respected by the Thai locals. Countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia also have similar cases of Pashtun settlements, which those who are of descent are quickly assimilated to the local Indian ethnic minority community while those recent migrants or settlers belong to the Pakistani diaspora, since most of the migrants came from Pakistan.
Guyana and Suriname
Many Pashtuns from Afghanistan came to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru as refugees during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1981 and during the internal Afghan conflicts in 1995–1996.
- Pathans of Punjab
- Pathans of Rajasthan
- Pashtun people
- Pashtun tribes
- Pashtun culture
- "Pashto, Northern". SIL International. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. June 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2010.
Ethnic population: 29,529,000 possibly total Pashto in all countries.
- Ali, Arshad (15 February 2018). "Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan's great granddaughter seeks citizenship for 'Phastoons' in India". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
Interacting with mediapersons on Wednesday, Yasmin, the president of All India Pakhtoon Jirga-e-Hind, said that there were 32 lakh Phastoons in the country who were living and working in India but were yet to get citizenship.
- "United Arab Emirates: Demography" (PDF). Encyclopædia Britannica World Data. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
- 42% of 200,000 Afghan-Americans = 84,000 and 15% of 363,699 Pakistani-Americans = 54,554. Total Afghan and Pakistani Pashtuns in USA = 138,554.
- "Ethnologue report for Southern Pashto: Iran (1993)". SIL International. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- Maclean, William (10 June 2009). "Support for Taliban dives among British Pashtuns". Reuters. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
- Relations between Afghanistan and Germany: Germany is now home to almost 90,000 people of Afghan origin. 42% of 90,000 = 37,800
- "Perepis.ru". perepis2002.ru (in Russian).
- "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex – Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 June 2008. Total responses: 25,451,383 for total count of persons: 19,855,288.
- Haider, Suhasini (3 February 2018). "Tattooed 'blue-skinned' Hindu Pushtuns look back at their roots". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- "Pashtun". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
- "Afghan and Afghanistan". Abdul Hai Habibi. alamahabibi.com. 1969. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah (Firishta). "History of the Mohamedan Power in India". Persian Literature in Translation. Packard Humanities Institute. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
- Penzl, Herbert; Sloan, Ismail (2009). A Grammar of Pashto a Descriptive Study of the Dialect of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Ishi Press International. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-923891-72-5. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
Estimates of the number of Pashto speakers range from 40 million to 60 million...
- "Pashto". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
The exact number of Pashto speakers is not known for sure, but most estimates range from 45 million to 55 million.
- Thomson, Gale (2007). Countries of the World & Their Leaders Yearbook 08. 2. European Union: Indo-European Association. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-7876-8108-1. Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- "Afghan Population: 31,108,077 (July 2013 est.) [Pashtun = 42%]". Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Factbook. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Ethnic groups". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
Pashtun: Estimated to comprise more than 45% of the population, the Pashtuns have been the dominant ethnic group in Afghanistan.
- Janda, Kenneth; Berry, Jeffrey M.; Goldman, Jerry (2008). The Challenge of Democracy: Government in America (9 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-618-81017-8. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- "Afghanistan's complex ethnic patchwork". The Asian Wall Street Journal. Tehran Times. 10 March 2011. Archived from the original on 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Pathans". Faqs.org. 2003. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "About Afghanistan – Ethnic Divisions". Archived from the original on 17 September 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Christensen, Asger (1995). Aiding Afghanistan: the background and prospects for reconstruction in a fragmented society. NIAS Press. p. 46. ISBN 87-87062-44-5. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Congressional Record. Government Printing Office. 1953. p. 10088. ISBN 9780160118449. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Taylor, William J. Jr.; Kim, Abraham (2000). Asian Security to the Year 2000. DIANE Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 1-4289-1368-8. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- Brown, Keith; Ogilvie, Sarah (2009). Concise encyclopedia of languages of the world. Elsevie. p. 845. ISBN 978-0-08-087774-7. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
Pashto, which is mainly spoken south of the mountain range of the Hindu Kush, is reportedly the mother tongue of 60% of the Afghan population.
- Hawthorne, Susan; Winter, Bronwyn (2002). 11 September 2001: feminist perspectives. Spinifex Press. p. 225. ISBN 1-876756-27-6. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
Over 60 percent of the population in Afghanistan is Pashtun...
- "The ethnic composition of afghanistan in different sources". Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "Ethnic groups". BBC News. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "PAKISTAN: Tolerance wanes as perceptions of Afghan refugees change". IRIN. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "District Development Plans (DDP)". Government of Afghanistan and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- "Pakistan population: 187,342,721 [Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%]". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Pakistan Index: Tracking Variables of Reconstruction & Security" (PDF). Brookings Institution. 29 December 2011. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Obaid-Chinoy, Sharmeen (17 July 2009). "Pakistan: Karachi's Invisible Enemy City potent refuge for Taliban fighters". PBS. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- "In a city of ethnic friction, more tinder". The National. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 16 January 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 913. .
- Alvi, Shams-ur-Rehman (11 December 2008). "Indian Pathans to broker peace in Afghanistan". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- Alavi, Shams Ur Rehman (11 December 2008). "Indian Pathans to broker peace in Afghanistan". Hinudstan Times.
- "Special focus on Gujjars, Paharis: CM". Daily Excelsior. Retrieved 22 August 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Pakhtoons in Kashmir". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 July 1954. Archived from the original on 9 December 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Justice rolls in Kashmir, Afghan-style". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 August 2009.
- "Saiyids, Mughals, Pashtuns and Galawans". OPF. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
- "A First Look at the Language of Kundal Shahi in Azad Kashmir" (PDF). SIL International. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2009.
- "Pathan". Isa-Masih in Lucknow. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2007.
- "Phonemic Inventory of Pashto" (PDF). CRULP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
- Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001, Census of India (retrieved 17 March 2008)
- "Study of the Pathan Communities in four States of India". Khyber. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2007.
- "Pashto Language & Identity Formation" (PDF). Contemporary South Asia, July 1995, Vol 4, Issue 2, p151,20 (Khyber). Retrieved 7 June 2007.
- Jaffrelot, Christophe (2002). Pakistan: nationalism without a nation?. Zed Books. p. 27. ISBN 1-84277-117-5. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- Dalrymple, William; Anand, Anita (2017). Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4088-8885-8.
- "FEATURE – Support for Taliban dives among British Pashtuns". Reuters. 10 June 2009.
- "The Other Languages of England", British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3 (October 1986), pp. 288–289.
- Helmand – Baltimore, Maryland
- Helmand – San Francisco, California Archived 26 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Helmand – Cambridge, Massachusetts
- 2006 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations
- australia.gov.au > About Australia > Australian Stories > Afghan cameleers in Australia Archived 15 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 8 May 2014.
- "Afghan histories in Australia." Archived 22 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine Dulwich Centre. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- Eaton, Richard M. (1996). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520205079.
- Essed, Philomena; Frerks, Georg; Schrijvers, Joke (2004). Refugees and the Transformation of Societies: Agency, Policies, Ethics, and Politics. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781571818669.
- "Afghans of Guyana". Wahid Momand. Afghanland.com. 2000. Archived from the original on 5 November 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
- Ahmad, Aisha; Roger Boase. Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier: From the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier. Saqi Books, 2003. ISBN 0-86356-438-0.
- Ahmed, Akbar S. 1976. Millennium and charisma among Pathans: a critical essay in social anthropology. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980. ISBN 0-7100-0547-4.
- Ahmed, Akbar S. Pukhtun economy and society: traditional structure and economic development in a tribal society. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980. ISBN 0-7100-0389-7.
- Caroe, Olaf. The Pathans: 500 B.C.-A.D. 1957. MacMillan, 1964. ISBN 0-19-577221-0.
- Dani, Ahmad Hasan. Peshawar: Historic city of the Frontier. Khyber Mail Press, 1969. ISBN 969-35-0554-9.
- Docherty, Paddy. The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion. Union Square Press, 2008. ISBN 0-571-21977-2.
- Dupree, Louis. Afghanistan. Princeton University Press, 1973. ISBN 0-691-03006-5.
- Elphinstone, Mountstuart (1815). An account of the kingdom of Caubul, and its dependencies in Persia, Tartary, and India: comprising a view of the Afghaun nation, and a history of the Dooraunee monarchy. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1815.
- Habibi, Abdul Hai. Afghanistan: An Abridged History. Fenestra Books, 2003. ISBN 1-58736-169-8.
- Hopkirk, Peter. The Great Game: the struggle for empire in central Asia Kodansha Globe; Reprint edition. Kodansha International, 1994. ISBN 1-56836-022-3.
- Nichols, Robert. A history of Pashtun migration, 1775–2006. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN 0-19-547600-X.
- Vogelsang, Willem. The Afghans. Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. ISBN 0-631-19841-5.
- Wardak, Ali. Jirga – A Traditional Mechanism of Conflict Resolution in Afghanistan, 2003, online at UNPAN (the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance).
- Weiner, Myron; Ali Banuazizi. The Politics of social transformation in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. Syracuse University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8156-2609-6.
- Weinreich, Matthias. "We are here to stay": Pashtun migrants in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Klaus Schwarz, 2009. ISBN 3-87997-356-3.