Pashtun diaspora

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Pashtun diaspora
Total population
Approx. 80-90 million (2018) [1]
Flag of India.svg  India 3,200,000 [2]
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  UAE 478,315 (2018) [3]
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 138,554 (2010) [4]
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 113,000 (1993) [5]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 100,000 (2009) [6]
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 37,800 (2012) [7]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 10,590 (2016) [8] [ verification needed ]
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 9,800 (2002) [9]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 8,154 (2006) [10]
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 5,500 (2008)
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan 4,000 (1970) [5]
Languages
Pashto
Dari, Hindi, Urdu and English as second languages
Religion
Islam (Sunni)
with small Shia and Hindu minorities [11]

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. [12] 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.

Contents

The Pashtun ethnic group are believed to have settled in the vast Pashtunistan region in the first millennium C.E. [13] [14] According to Ethnologue, they currently number around 50 million, [1] but some sources give slightly lower or higher figures. [15] [16] [17] 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.

Native land

Pashtun people of Afghanistan. Pashtuns.jpg
Pashtun people of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan

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% [18] [19] 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. [20]

The Pashtuns are scattered all over Afghanistan, they can be found in almost every province of the country. [21] 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.

Pakistan

Ethnic Pashtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan (including the southern borders of the former Soviet Union, the northeastern borders of Iran, and the northwestern borders of India disputed with Pakistan), in the early 1980s. Major ethnic groups of Pakistan in 1980.jpg
Ethnic Pashtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan (including the southern borders of the former Soviet Union, the northeastern borders of Iran, and the northwestern borders of India disputed with Pakistan), in the early 1980s.
Distribution of Pakistanis speaking Pashto as a first language as of the 1998 census of Pakistan Distribution of Pakistanis speaking Pashto as a first language in 1998.png
Distribution of Pakistanis speaking Pashto as a first language as of the 1998 census of Pakistan

Pashtuns are one of the largest ethnic minority in Pakistan, making up over 15% of the total population of Pakistan. [22] [23] 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 [24] [25] 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:

Province Pashtuns
Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 30-32 million (as per 2017 population census of Pakistan)
Flag of FATA.svg Federally Administered Tribal Areas 5.5 million [ citation needed ]
Flag of Sindh.svg Sindh 6-10 million [24]
Flag of Balochistan.svg Balochistan 5.5 million [ citation needed ]
Flag of Punjab.svg Punjab
Flag of Azad Kashmir.svg Azad Kashmir 350,000 [ citation needed ]
Proposed Flag of Islamabad Capital Territory.svg Islamabad Capital Territory 450,000 [ citation needed ]
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan 56.7 [22] [23]

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.[ citation needed ]

In addition to this, some Urdu-speaking communities in Pakistan trace their ancestry to the ancient Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.[ citation needed ] 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.

Notable people

India

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. [26] 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. [27] Khan Mohammad Atif, a professor at the University of Lucknow, estimates that "The population of Pathans in India is twice their population in Afghanistan". [28]

Pashto-speaking communities

There are many Pashto-speaking Pakhtuns in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. [29] 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. [30] Today jirgas are frequently held. [31] 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. [32] Pashto is also spoken in two villages, Dhakki and Changnar (Chaknot), located on the Line of Control in Kupwara District. [33] In response to demand by the Pashtun community living in the state, Kashir TV has recently launched a series of Pushto-language programs. [34]

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. [35] These Pathans, numbering around 14,161, [36] [37] 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. [38]

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. [11] Prior to 1947, the community resided in the Quetta, Loralai and Maikhter regions of the British Indian province of Baluchistan. [11] Today, they continue to speak Pashto and celebrate Pashtun culture through the Attan dance. [11]

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: [39]

Pashtuns in the Middle East

Pashtun man in Al Ain, UAE Pathan man (3777997658).jpg
Pashtun man in Al Ain, UAE

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. [40] 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. [5] 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. [41]

About 300,000 Pashtuns migrated to the Persian Gulf countries between 1976 and 1981, representing 35% of Pakistani immigrants. [40]

Pashtuns in Europe

Many Pashtuns have migrated from their homeland in South/Central Asia to Europe.[ citation needed ]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is home to some 100,000 Pashtuns, [42] 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. [43]

Pashtuns in other parts of the world

United States

Pashtuns in the US by state Pashto USC2000 PHS.svg
Pashtuns in the US by state

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 [44] [45] [46] and as owners of the fast-food restaurant chain Kennedy Fried Chicken that is based in New York City.

Canada

1,690 persons characterized their ethnicity as "Pashtun" in Canada's 2006 census. [47] However, in question 17 of Canada's Statcan census form [48] most Pashtuns don't put their ethnicity as Pashtuns but rather Afghan or Pakistani.

Australia

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. [49] These consisted of men who were not allowed to bring their families with them, many married local Aborigines and are now known as Ghans. [50] 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. [51] 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. [52]

Southeast Asia

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.

East Asia

There may be some Pashtun communities living in parts of China, Taiwan and Japan.

Guyana and Suriname

Some people living in Guyana and Suriname claim to be of Afghan descent. Most of them moved to South American countries during the Indian immigration. [53]

Latin America

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.

See also

Related Research Articles

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, often abbreviated as KP or KPK and formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern region of the country, along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border.

Pashtuns Ethnic group native to South and Central Asia

Pashtuns, historically known as Afghans, are an Iranian ethnic group native to Central and South Asia.

Pashtunistan historical region inhabited by the Pashtun people

Pashtūnistān is the geographic historical region inhabited by the indigenous Pashtun people of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan in South-Central Asia, wherein Pashtun culture, language, and national identity have been based. Alternative names historically used for the region include "Pashtūnkhwā" (پښتونخوا) and "Afghānistān" (افغانستان), since at least the 3rd century CE onward. Pashtunistan borders Iran to the west, Persian and Turkic-speaking areas of Turkestan region to the north, Kashmir to the northeast, Punjab to the east, and Balochistan to the south.

Pashto Eastern Iranian language natively spoken by ethnic Pashtuns

Pashto, sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European family. It is known in Persian literature as Afghani.

Yusufzai Ethnic Pashtun tribe

The Yusufzai or Yousafzai, also referred to as the Esapzai or Yusufzai Afghans historically, are one of the largest tribes of the ethnic Pashtun people. The tribe's origin is Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Afridi Farsi tribe mostly present in Pakistan

The Afridi are a tribe of Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland is in Khyber and Darra Adam Khel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

The Bangash or Bungish are a tribe of ethnic Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland, historically known as "Bangash district," stretches from Kohat to Tall and Spīn Ghar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, as well as smaller parts of Paktia, Afghanistan. The Bangash are also settled in large numbers in Uttar Pradesh, India, especially in the city of Farrukhabad, which was founded in 1714 by Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash.

Rohillas are a community of Pashtun ancestry, historically found in Rohilkhand, a region in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It forms the largest Pashtun diaspora community in India, and has given its name to the Rohilkhand region. The Rohilla military chiefs settled in the Hindu-majority region of northern India in the 1720s.

Durrani Pashtun tribe

The Durrānī formerly known as Abdālī (ابدالي), are one of the largest tribes of Pashtuns. Their traditional homeland is in southern Afghanistan, straddling into Toba Achakzai in Balochistan, Pakistan, but they are also settled in other parts of Afghanistan and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Saṛbanī or Sarban Confedracy is a tribal group of Pashtuns. They are situated in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Sarbani include many Pashtun tribes, including Sherani, Tareen, Durrani, Khalil, Kheshgi, Mohmand, Daudzai, Muhammadzai, Chamkani, Yousafzai, Shinwari, Tarkalani. According to the Pashtun legend of origins, the members of the Sarbani group all descend from Sarban, said to be the first son of the legendary founding father of the Pashtun people, Qais Abdur Rashid.

Hindkowans, also known as the Hindki, are an Indo-Aryan linguistic-cultural group, which is native to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pothohar Plateau and Azad Kashmir regions of Pakistan. Hindkowans speak various Hindko dialects of Lahnda.

The Pathans of Punjab (Punjabi: پنجابی پٹھان; Pashto: د پنجاب پښتانه‎; also called Punjabi Pathans are originally Pashtun people who have settled in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Most of these Pashtun communities are scattered throughout the Punjab and have over time assimilated into the Punjabi society and culture.

Pashtun tribes Large family units of the Eastern Iranian ethnic groups

The Pashtun tribes, historically also known as Afghan tribes, are the tribes of the Pashtun people, a large Eastern Iranian ethnic group who use the Pashto language and follow Pashtunwali code of conduct. They are found primarily in Afghanistan and Pakistan and form the world's largest tribal society, comprising over 49 million people and between 350 and 400 tribes and clans. They are traditionally divided into four tribal confederacies: the Sarbani (سړبني), the Bettani (بېټني), the Gharghashti (غرغښتي) and the Karlani (کرلاڼي).

Pashtunization, also called Pathanization, is a process of cultural or linguistic change in which someone or something non-Pashtun becomes acculturated to Pashtun influence. Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and second-largest in Pakistan.

Pashtun nationalism is a political and social movement which promotes the idea that the Pashtuns are deserving of a sovereign nation in their homeland of Pashtunistan, which consists of the Pashtun-majority parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pashtun nationalism is closely linked to the cause of Pashtun home rule and Pashtun independence. In Afghanistan, Pashtun nationalists look after the interests of the Pashtun ethnic group and has its support only from them. They favor the ideas of a "Greater Afghanistan". Therefore, the concept of Pashtun nationalism politically overlaps with Afghan nationalism.

The major ethnic groups of Pakistan include Punjabis, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Saraikis, Muhajirs, Baloch, Paharis, Hindkowans, and other smaller groups. Smaller ethnic groups found throughout the nation include Kashmiris, Kalash, Chitralis, Siddi, Burkusho, Wakhis, Khowar, Hazara, Shina, and Baltis.

Kakazai

The Kakazai, also known as Loi or Loye Mamund, a division of the Mamund clan, are part of the larger Tarkani (ترکاڼي) tribe who are primarily settled in Bajaur Agency, Pakistan, but originally hailed from the Laghman province of Afghanistan. However, it has grown and scattered around to such an extent that it is recognized as tribe of its own.

Pathans in Kashmir include Pashtun people (Pathans) that may still follow Pashtunwali and speak Pashto as their mother-tongue who have settled in the Indian Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir region of South Asia. While there are also a large number of people throughout Kashmir who claim Pashtun ancestry through forefathers who migrated to the region under the Afghan rule in Kashmir. While exact numbers are hard to determine, cursory estimates put the number of these Pathans or Pashtuns above 100,000. Many of these Pathans have over time absorbed Kashmiriyat and use Kashmiri language as their second language, although some people following Pashtunwali customs and aspects of Pashtun culture and Pashto are still notably practiced among the community, largely of them resides in district Ganderbal (gutlibagh)and Anantnag,there are also Pathans in district Kishtwar and Baramulla (uri,Sherri,kaleban)

Pathans in India are citizens or residents of India who are of ethnic Pashtun ancestry. "Pathan" is the local Hindi-Urdu term for an individual who belongs to the Pashtun ethnic group, or descends from it. The term additionally finds mention among Western sources, mainly in the colonial-era literature of British India. Historically, the term "Afghan" was also synonymous with the Pathans. The Pathans originate from the Pashtunistan region straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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