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Default Pakhtun, afghan and pathan. - 05-28-2014, 09:44 PM

PAKHTUN, AFGHAN AND PATHAN. By Ijaz Yousafzai
-----------------------------------------------
The nomenclatures of Pakhtun/Pashtun, Afghan and Pathan, historically describe the same people but now political expediencies have distorted this well documented fact and therefore it has become necessary to find out the true and indigenous historical identity of a formidable Nation, which was fragmented into several geographical confines either by its adversaries or the quest for subsistence made its peoples migrated to the Middle East, Europe and America.

The historical truth reveals beyond any doubt that these people carried the aboriginal name of “Pakhtun” (or ‘Pashtun’ in the soft variant of their language), but was, later, called by different names by other races, which fate brought close to them in the course of history. They were called Avghans by the Armenians, Afghans by the Persians, Sulemanis by the Arabs, and Pathans by the Indians but they themselves prefer to be called Pakhtuns/Pashtuns.

“The appellation of “Pakhtun/Pashtun” is much older than the “Afghan”, recalls Habibullah Tagai in his booklet, “Pukhtana” and adds that the great Greek historian Herodotus has described Pakhtana as Paktuese and their country as Paktuike, Paktika or Paktikha (Pakhtunkhwa) in 400 BC”.

A noted Afghan historian Muhammad Hasan Kakar carries the roots beyond and observes that “We find the description of “Pakht” in the Vedic scriptures of 1500 BC, which is regarded by almost all the orientalists and anthropologists a root, from which the name, “Pakhtun” stems out. Another Afghan intellectual Mohammad Masoom Hotak also believes that the “Pakht” of Rigveda and the “Paktues” of Herodotus are undeniably the “Pakhtuns/Pashtuns” of today, who were called Afghans and Pathans by alien nations, but who call themselves “Pukhtana” and their language as “Pakhto or Pashto”.
It happened so in the course of the times that tas Pakhtuns generally inhabited the mountainous terrains and highlands and as the “dwellers of the mountain” were called “Avghans” in the Armenian language and hence by the position of their abode, the Pakhtuns/Pashtuns were called by their Armenian neighbors as “Avghans”, later converted to “Afghans” by the Persians.

Kerarson, and Trump, the renowned orientalists and historiographers also confirm that these were the Persians who gave the name of “Afghans” to the Pakhtuns.
Prof. Emeritus AH Dani maintains that Herodotus explicitly giving the portrayal of the Pakhtuns mentioned, “The Paktues wore cloaks of skin and carried the bow of their country and the dagger”. The Persian suzerain Darius commanded his general Skylax to find out where the river Indus emptied itself into the Sea. According to the Father of the History, Herodotus, “he started from the city of “Kaspaturos” and the country of “Paktuike”. Dr. AH Dani further elaborates, “The word Afghan, Avghan or Abagan, which is found in all the Muslim accounts, has been traced only to the Sassanian inscription of the3rd century AD, and more clearly to Varahamihra’s Brihatsamhita of the 6th century. Right from the time of Ghaznavid sultans this word alone is used to denote these people whether they live in the West or in the East, the former called Afghan and the later Pathan by Muhammad Qasim Farishta in his “Twareekh-e-Farishta”.

European writer Morgenstierne sums up, “A distinction is sometimes made between Afghan and Pathan, the former being applied to the Durranis and allied tribes. But the difference is only in the nomenclature, the Persian designation “Afghan”(of unknown etymology) being applied to the western tribes, while Pathan, the Indianized form of the native name is used about the “Eastern ones”. Sir Thomas Holdick suggests, “It is difficult to account for the name Afghan. It has been said that it is but the Armenian word Avghan (mounteers).”

Pakhtuns consider the Indianized name “Pathan” as derogatory which was given to them by the estranged Indian tribes subdued by them. Some derive the name from the “Parthians”, who held great resemblance in body structure and physique to the pakhtuns, some describe it as a derivation from “Batan” a fairy-tale title of one of their ancestors, while some relate it to “Patna”, an Indian city which was inhabited by the migrated Pakhtuns, for the first time during Pakhtuns exodus to India.

The Persians, being the then custodians of the realm of literature and history, popularized their given name “Afghan” for the oldest form of Pakhtun/Pashtun so much that this name found practice even in the writings of the Pakhtun poets, writers and authors. The European orientalists also resorted to a general use of the name “Afghan” to denote the people who called themselves Pakhtuns.

Khushal Khan Khattak, Kazim Khan Shaida, Rahman Baba, Ashraf Khan Hijri, Pir Mohammad Kakar, Rowshanite poets, Akhun Darwaiza etc, have invariably used the nomenclature of Afghan for pakhtuns in their poetry. Some of them have used both “Pakhtun” and “Afghan” simultaneously for the same people. Similarly following the footsteps of the Persians who owned a rich literary heritage and who mastered the print media of the time, the European historians stamped the appellation of “Afghan” on the Pakhtuns in their story-telling. Alphinstone, Darmestrator, Alexander Burnes HW Bellew, Morgenstierne, Barnard Dorn, Waliam Jones, Gorge Rose, Moorcraft, Mason, Henry W. Raverty, Sir Olaf caroe etc, have adopted the name of “Afghan” to denote Pakhtuns in all their compositions and compilations.

Some famous verses of the celebrated Paktun Poets of the yester years may add taste to the truth of owning the name of Afghan for themselves;
· Da Afghan pa nang me otarala toora
Nangyale da zamane Khushal Khattak yam. (Khushal Baba
· Che kishwar Da Afghanano Mo’attar kree
Da har Bait Misra me zulfay da khuban kre. (Rahman Baba)
· Pa Hindi ada ye oray pa maa chaare
Za shaida pa zra saada da Roh Afghan yam. (Kazim Khan Shaida)
The court literati of the Safavid, Ghaznavid and Moghal empires put the name of “Afghan” in vogue in such a manner in their write-ups that it superceded the aboriginal name of the “Pakhtun/Pashtun”.
To compare further the antiquity of the two most popular names, Pakhtun and Afghan, the former is rooted deep in the history since 3500 years, while the later ages some 1700 years if we believe that the Sassanian emperor Shahpur-1 got it inscribed on a plaque in the 3rd century AD.

HW Bellew observes that the name of Afghanistan was suggested by the Persians in recent era. Afghanistan was not named so till the half of the 18th Century. Nadir shah Afshar was the first conqueror who called the northern territories of his domain, Faras as Afghanistan. A noted afghan Scholar Ahmad Ali kohzad also believes that Afghanistan was quiet a new name, having a root of only 150 years. Some people believe that Ahmad shah Abdali founded Afghanistan in 1747 AD, but he never used this name. His famous couplet remembering pakhtunkhwa while alighted on the majestic throne of Delhi is worth mentioning;

- Da Deeli Takht Herawom che rayaad kram
- Zma da khukule pakhtunkhwa da ghara saroona
-
Ahmad shah Baba remembers Hameed lodhi and Farid khan ( Sher shah Suri) and yearn the “pakhtun” to show their skills of sword;
- Da hameed Ao da Fareed dawar ba bya shee
- Che pa Tooro “pukhtana” kra guzaroona.

Pakhtuns are comfortable with the appellation of “Afghan” as far as it denotes only Pkhtuns but the confusion was unleashed when the later Mohmadzai rulers of Afghanistan promoted the idea of a Civic-Nation or Afghan Millat, by assimilating all the ethnic entities inhabiting Afghanistan in the political amalgamation of the “Afghan Millat”. The name of the “Afghan” which was historically used for the Pakhtuns only was hijacked from pakhtuns for the smooth political sailing of the Afghan rulers, for sinister political reasons.One of the scions of the Afghan dynasty, Amir Abdur Rahman got rid of his 35% territory and 40% staunch Pakhtun population for the sake of his rule. Now the constitution of Afghanistan defines “afghan” as a millat comprising of all the citizens of Afghanistan consisting of remaining Pakhtuns, Tajiks, Usbaks, Hazaras, Nooristanis, Emaqs, Turkamans etc, but excluding Yusufzais of Swat and Mardan, Mohammadzais of Charsadda, Khalil,Momand and Daudzais of Peshawar, Bangash,Orakzais of Kohat division, Shinwaris and Afridis of Khyber, Turklanris, Malizais of Bajawar and Dir, Ranizais and Shalmanis of Malakand, Wazirs and Masoods of Waziristan, Mandokhails, Achakzais and Kakars of Jonobi Pakhtunkhwa etc,etc. One wonders whether all these pure Pakhtun tribes have shed Pakhtunwali or “Afghaniat”, when a political jolt in Afghanistan disrobed them of a particular identity.

A noted Afghan poet Abdul Bari Jahani, feels pride in his well acclaimed lyrics sung by the legendary ustad Nashanas;

· Ka Tajak dee ka Uzbak dee yao Afghan de
Da de Khawrey Hazara, Turkman Zma dee

Some of us are skeptical of this assimilation as it is fated to submerge the pakhtun majority culturally and ethnically. The minorities consisting of Tajiks ,the natives of Tajikistan who linguistically relate to Iran, Uzbaks relate to a central Isian republic of Uzbakistan and Hazaras, having religious ties with Iran ( and proven more loyal lot to Iran), have been very hostile to the pakhtuns as testified by the recent times and they have always raised a slogan of the “usurped nations” or (Millat-hae sitam deeda), cursing Pakhtuns on one pretext or anothr. The followers of Ahmmed Shah Masood, Rasheed Dostam, Tahir Badakhshi, Bahruddin Baes, and ustad Rabbani have always stabbed pakhtuns in the back when they laid hands on any opportunity. The wrath of the savage squads of the Northern Alliance on the isolated pockets of the Pakhtun population is now a dark part of the history. All these hostile minorities are united in a confederacy of “Parsibans” against the pakhtuns, (like the Turks and Mongols founded a united Moghal confederacy to rule others). The former “Sazman-e-Inqilabi Zakhmat kashan-e-Afghanistan” (SAZA) and the leftist Parcham Party wielded venomous aspirations against pakhto and pakhtuns. The Tajik Babrak Karmal boasted to say, “whosoever who speaks to me in the language of Tarakai and Hafeezullah Ameen, is my sworn enemy”. These immigrants, who migrated with the armies of the Timurlane and the others belonging to the Turkish, Persian and Moghal origins, now have their high stakes of cultural supremacy in the realm of pakhtun majority. It is pity that the notorious Russian harbored war-lord Masoud has been declared as an Afghan National Hero, while the great Ahmad Shah Baba is being debased. The dismantling of Ahmad Shah Baba’s giant concrete portrait and the erection of Ahmad Shah Masoud’s similar giant portrait at Ghazi Stadium at Kabul speak volume of the value of real Afghan heroes in today’s Afghanistan.

King Zahir Shah declared Pashto language as a national language in the Constitution of Afghanistan during his monarchy but practically it remained a relegated, second rate and fast losing language in Afghanistan. The so-called Pakhtun rulers were destitute themselves in their own language. The Afghan bureaucracy neither speaks Pashto nor writes Pashto and it has practically adopted Dari as the only national language. They shamelessly call the Pakhtuns a “majority without culture’ (Aksariat-e- be farhang).This alarming situation can be palped from the fact that though pakhtuns constitutes 62.83% of the Afghanistan’s population, however only 40% rulral population speaks Pashto.
The United Nations Information DATA presents gruesome statistics which states that the hegemonial Tajik group in Afghanistan has been swallowing 8% pashtuns in the linguistic and cultural quagmire.

An eminent pakhtun intellectual Dr. Mian Sohail Insha laments in his book, “Pukhtanee Qaumi Jorakht”( National Composition Of the Pakhtuns), “The term “Afghan” met with such a mockery that all the alien writers use this name for all the residents of Afghanistan but the minorities inside Afghanistan, like Hazzraz, Uzbaks, Tajaks etc use it only for the pakhtuns”. But, ironically the government of Afghanistan and more lamentably the Pakhtun intellegensia inside Afghanistan also use it for all the citizens of Afghanistan. One of the Five Stars of Afghan literatures, Ustad Abdual Hai Habibi, has vehemently advocated the use of “Afghan” name for all the Afghanistanis in his pamphlet, “Afghan ao Afghanistan”. This scribe wonders whether Khushal Baba had girded his lions for the honor of the Tajiks, Uzbaks etc, when he said his famous verse;
· “Da Afghan Pa Nang Me O Tarala Toora”

Some disgruntled Parsiban may turn around and accuse me of being a “Paki Fatan” who is on a “mission” to sow the seeds of discord amoung the “Afghans” but let me clarify the position in the first instance in an unambiguous tems. I do neither see any destiny for the pakhtuns in a punjabized Pakistan, nor in a persianized Afghanistan.

Punjabis and Parsibans are equal usurpers and persecutors of the Pakhtuns and therefore pakhtuns ought to get rid of the two obvious enemies. Pakhtuns have been a formidable nation and its destiny lies in its own state, Pakhtunistan, where Pakhtuns are ruled by the Pakhtuns for the Pakhto and the pakhtuns. (After all Afghanistan has never advocated the merger of its lost territories in itself in any forum and only has offered lip-service to the Pakhtunistan movement as an eye-wash).

Any appellation, which due to prevailing political expediency, does not discriminate a Pakhtun from a Punjabi and a Parsiban, does not suit a pakhtun and therefore I would prefer to be called a Pakhtun than an Afghan, although my revenue record still shows me as an Afghan . This plea gets its further impetus from the present political corruption of the previous historical meaning of the name “Afghan” (which only denoted Pakhtuns in each and every corner of the world). We are, now left with the stark and harsh fact that all Pakhtuns are Afghans but all Afghans are not Pakhtuns, why, then we should not cling to our own undisputed and long-rooted identity of being “Pakhtuns” and “ Pakhtuns “ alone. A Pakhtun remains a Pakhtun in Pakhtunkhwa, Afghanistan, Europe and America fearing no political syndrome and power gimmicks which can disrobe them of their true title of being a Pakhtun.

In the words of Dr. Mian Sohail Insha,“When we have our own original, etymological, archaeological and particular name, “Pakhtun/Pashtun”, then we should not value and endear the names (Afghan, Pathan, etc) granted to us by the aliens. It is not sagacious to adopt and accept these names advertently or inadvertently. In our territory Pakhtun is a major nation, whose language is Pashto, whose code of life is “Pakhtunwali” and whose country is ‘Pakhtunkhwa’”
Pukhtoona! Raasha tamashe laa zalmee jang jorawee
Da azaday pa dolay jang zalmee pa nang jorawee
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Default 05-29-2014, 11:17 AM

This had never made sense to me, i know pakistani-pashtuns that don't like being called pathan because it was given to them indians but they don't mind calling themselves 'afghan' which was given to them by persians

i've personally been refered to as a 'pathan' because most people in pakistan don't know much about hindkowans, they think we're all the same
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:05 PM

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Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
This had never made sense to me, i know pakistani-pashtuns that don't like being called pathan because it was given to them indians but they don't mind calling themselves 'afghan' which was given to them by persians

i've personally been refered to as a 'pathan' because most people in pakistan don't know much about hindkowans, they think we're all the same
Well if you have read the article, word afghan, though given by armenians and persians of sassanid period, is much older word than pathan. Avghan in armenian means mountainer, so it is a fitting name. Even lodhis and suris called themeselves Afghans, not pathans. No body knows, other than researchers, that afghan is persian word. On the other hand pathan is rancid word, not a word but corruption of an actual word pakhtun. It is derogatory word, which according to some people, means those who kidnap kids (most probably not true but you can sense that it is a derogatory and corrupt word with rancid vibes, given to us by hindus). We dont call ourselves pathan or pathani in poetry, literature or daily life.


[URL="http://historyofpashtuns.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/afghan-sikh-wars.html"][SIZE=5][COLOR=Green]History of Pashtuns[/COLOR][/SIZE][/URL]
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:14 PM

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Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
Well if you have read the article, word afghan, though given by armenians and persians of sassanid period, is much older word than pathan. Avghan in armenian means mountainer, so it is a fitting name. Even lodhis and suris called themeselves Afghans, not pathans. No body knows, other than researchers, that afghan is persian word. On the other hand pathan is rancid word, not a word but corruption of an actual word pakhtun. It is derogatory word, which according to some people, means those who kidnap kids (most probably not true but you can sense that it is a derogatory and corrupt word with rancid vibes, given to us by hindus). We dont call ourselves pathan or pathani in poetry, literature or daily life.
I think Pashtun sounds better than 'Afghan' or 'Avghan' because it's the original name of the people of Bactria.
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:38 PM

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Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
I think Pashtun sounds better than 'Afghan' or 'Avghan' because it's the original name of the people of Bactria.
Ofcourse ,Pashtun is the proper word, no arguement about that. But in your previous post you were bringing rather decent word Afghan to the level of putrid dhalkhor word pathan, by wondering why pashtuns are fine with being called Afghans but not pathan.


[URL="http://historyofpashtuns.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/afghan-sikh-wars.html"][SIZE=5][COLOR=Green]History of Pashtuns[/COLOR][/SIZE][/URL]
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:42 PM

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Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
This had never made sense to me, i know pakistani-pashtuns that don't like being called pathan because it was given to them indians but they don't mind calling themselves 'afghan' which was given to them by persians

i've personally been refered to as a 'pathan' because most people in pakistan don't know much about hindkowans, they think we're all the same
Well i think its the opposite that you wana say as most of the pashtuns from pakistan dont mind hearing pathan and are against the use of word afghan as that term they use exclusively for Kabulyan people. Note: except some nationalist pashtuns for example mahmood achakzai in his speech said Afghan while addressing people in quetta and people were shocked as they thought he is talking about Hazaras or the muhajir people but then he had to clear it ethnic afghan : Pashtun to them,..
While if you meet an afghan pashtun he likes afghan word but not pathan.

PEople in Pakistan know abt hindkowans brother, even a small kid now adays knows who are hindkowans, hazarwals, seraiki, coz now adays most people introduce themselves with these words.
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:42 PM

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Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
Ofcourse ,Pashtun is the proper word, no arguement about that. But in your previous post you were bringing rather decent word Afghan to the level of putrid dhalkhor word pathan, by wondering why pashtuns are fine with being called Afghans but not pathan.
i wonder how u got the title of knowledgeable..
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Default 05-29-2014, 12:53 PM

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Originally Posted by rednwhite99 View Post
i wonder how u got the title of knowledgeable..
I wonder how you got the title of 'PF frequent visitor'.
Its not that Pashtuns of paki have accepted name pathani for themeselves, correcting punjabis and others every time ,while in conversation, would be distracting and tiresome thing to do. But i have noticed that some burger-ized and institutionalized pashtuns, and also mixed ones, refer to themeselves as pathans. It sounds very funny when they say, "mung pathanan yu".


[URL="http://historyofpashtuns.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/afghan-sikh-wars.html"][SIZE=5][COLOR=Green]History of Pashtuns[/COLOR][/SIZE][/URL]
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Default 05-29-2014, 01:26 PM

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Originally Posted by Smarty View Post
I wonder how you got the title of 'PF frequent visitor'.
Its not that Pashtuns of paki have accepted name pathani for themeselves, correcting punjabis and others every time ,while in conversation, would be distracting and tiresome thing to do. But i have noticed that some burger-ized and institutionalized pashtuns, and also mixed ones, refer to themeselves as pathans. It sounds very funny when they say, "mung pathanan yu".
LOL,, alrite bro
but pashtuns especially from fata dont like refering themselves as Afghan or pathan as they are the ones who are mostly dealing with the refugees. only the nationalists like the ones in charsadda, mardan refer themselves as Afghan and are Anp supporters . Most PAshtuns in pakistan get mixed up while using the word Afghan, do u agree with this part or not?
On the whole i have only met one pakistani pashtun who calls himself Afghan but on the other hand he is a very patriotic Pakistani, he belongs to charsadda,
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Default 05-29-2014, 01:59 PM

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Originally Posted by rednwhite99 View Post
Well i think its the opposite that you wana say as most of the pashtuns from pakistan dont mind hearing pathan and are against the use of word afghan as that term they use exclusively for Kabulyan people. Note: except some nationalist pashtuns for example mahmood achakzai in his speech said Afghan while addressing people in quetta and people were shocked as they thought he is talking about Hazaras or the muhajir people but then he had to clear it ethnic afghan : Pashtun to them,..
While if you meet an afghan pashtun he likes afghan word but not pathan.
Yeah, that Achakzai guy should move to Kabul.


Quote:
PEople in Pakistan know abt hindkowans brother, even a small kid now adays knows who are hindkowans, hazarwals, seraiki, coz now adays most people introduce themselves with these words.
I know that most Pakistanis know about the Hindko langauge, but they usually think we're Pashtun, though that is partly true because my father is from the Tareen tribe so we have Pashtun lineage but that doesn't mean we're Pashtun; I see people calling Yusuf Khan,Yasir Hameed,Ayub Khan and Shahrukh Khan 'Pashtun' when in reaility they're Hindkowans(SRK is only half)

I know people from south Pakistan that think Chitralis and Gilgities are Pashtun, and some people think Quettawals are Baloch they don't know that north Pakistan is very diverse, i guess the media makes them think every fair skinned person from the north is either pashtun or kashmiri.
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