Pashtuns

Iranic ethnic group native to south and central Asia

Pashtuns (, or ; Pashto: پښتانه‎, Pax̌tānə) - also known as Pukhtuns or Pathans - are an Iranic ethnic group native to Central and South Asia.The native language of the Pashtuns is Pashto-an Iranian language on the Indo-Iranic branch of the Indo-European language family. The majority of Pashtuns speak Dari (a variant of Persian) or Hindustani (Hindi/Urdu) as a second language (in Afghanistan and the Indian Subcontinent respectively); however, a significant minority speak these languages as their first, primary or main language. The total number of Pashtuns is estimated to be around 63 million; however, this figure is disputed due to the lack of an official census in Afghanistan since 1979. Pashtuns are native to the land of southern Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan (occasionally referred to as the Pashtunistan region) where the majority of them reside. Significant and historical communities of the diaspora exist in the Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan (particularly in the cities of Karachi and Lahore) and in the Rohilkhand region of the Uttar Pradesh state in India (and also in major cities such as Delhi and Bombay). A recent diaspora has formed in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (primarily in the United Arab Emirates) as part of the larger South-Asian diaspora. Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and constitute around 42% of the population. They have been the dominant ethno-linguistic group in Afghanistan since the nations founding. Pashtuns are the second largest ethnic group in Pakistan, forming 15% of the population, and are considered one of the five major ethno-linguistic groups of the nation (alongside Punjabis, Sindhis, Baloch, and Kashmiris). Pashtuns are the 26th largest ethnic group in the world, and are the worlds largest segmentary lineage group. There are an estimated 350-400 Pashtun tribes and clans.Historical Pashtun figures include Ahmad Shah Durrani (considered the founder of Afghanistan) and Abdul Ghaffar Khan (an Indian-Independence activist during the British Raj). Other notable figures of Pashtun (or partial Pashtun) descent include Imran Khan, Malala Yousafzai, Sher Shah Suri, Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Afridi, Pir Roshan, Amanullah Khan, Daoud Khan, Ayub Khan, Zakir Husain and Madhubala.
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