Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: What is the difference between Afghan and Pashtun?

  1. #1
    Registered Users
    Posts
    318
    Sex
    Ethnicity
    Caucasian/Iraqi Bedouin
    Nationality
    Canadian
    Y-DNA (P)
    T
    mtDNA (M)
    J1b

    Jordan Jabal Shammar Yemen Adygea Iraq

    What is the difference between Afghan and Pashtun?

    I know some people who identify as Afghans but don't identify as Pashtuns. So who are the ethnic Afghans. I know Afghanistan has Tajiks,Pashtuns,Hazaras, Uzbek, Amiq, Turkmens, Baluch and some Indic and Dardic peoples. Most say ethnic Afghans are the Pashtuns, but I find it also interesting that the other groups also say they are Afghans.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Alanson For This Useful Post:

     DMXX (01-30-2014)

  3. #2
    Registered Users
    Posts
    72
    Sex
    Location
    California, USA
    Nationality
    American
    Y-DNA (P)
    L21
    mtDNA (M)
    V

    United States of America Ireland Germany England Norway
    According to Wiki, Afghan is an ethnonym for the Pashtun speakers of Afghanistan. The word was apparently used by the Persian speakers of Afghanistan to describe their neighbors.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Wonder_Wall For This Useful Post:

     Sein (01-02-2014)

  5. #3
    Registered Users
    Posts
    318
    Sex
    Ethnicity
    Caucasian/Iraqi Bedouin
    Nationality
    Canadian
    Y-DNA (P)
    T
    mtDNA (M)
    J1b

    Jordan Jabal Shammar Yemen Adygea Iraq
    Quote Originally Posted by Wonder_Wall View Post
    According to Wiki, Afghan is an ethnonym for the Pashtun speakers of Afghanistan. The word was apparently used by the Persian speakers of Afghanistan to describe their neighbors.
    It seems Afghan and Pashtun are used interchangeable, in an ethnic sense, well those that are citizens of Afghanistan are referred as such as well but are not Pashtuns it;s very interesting.

  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Posts
    239
    Sex
    Location
    Australia
    Ethnicity
    European/Irish
    Nationality
    Australian
    Y-DNA (P)
    D2a1b2a1a
    mtDNA (M)
    H2a2

    Australia Ireland
    The Pashtun people are one of the tribes of Afghanistan. One can be Afghanistani and not be a Pashtun.
    The knowledge of man is but a flea on the back of a camel.

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ian B For This Useful Post:

     Alanson (12-29-2013),  Ithy (02-21-2017),  Mehrdad (01-10-2014)

  8. #5
    Banned
    Posts
    1,103
    Sex
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Ethnicity
    Pashtun
    Nationality
    American
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1a1a1-M417 (Z94).
    mtDNA (M)
    M4'67

    Hi Alanson,

    "Afghan" is originally the Farsi term for Pashtun people. "Afghanistan" means "Land of the Pashtuns". In rural Afghanistan, the term is still reserved only for Pashtuns, and some non-Pashtuns in Afghanistan want the nation renamed "Khorasan", or "Aryana". But these debates are rather irrelevant now. In a contemporary context, "Afghan" simply refers to every citizen of Afghanistan, whatever their ethnic background. Ever since the drawing of the Durand Line, it doesn't make sense to tie "Afghan" to "Pashtun", since Pakistan technically has more "ethnic Afghans" than Afghanistan. And with the drawing of the Durand Line, Afghanistan is no longer an overwhelmingly Pashtun state. Despite Pashtun claims to the contrary, Pashtuns only constitute the largest plurality in the country (probably 40%-45%). Before the Durand Line, I wouldn't be surprised if 80% of Afghanistan's population was Pashtun.

    But if we are dealing with "Afghanistan" before the Durrani empire, we have to restrict our scope. For most of the medieval era, "Afghanistan" only included the southeastern portion of contemporary Afghanistan, and the northwestern portion of contemporary Pakistan. Basically, the area between the Helmand and Indus rivers, south of the Hindu Kush, and north of the Balochi region. This has to be kept in mind when reading old accounts, like the Baburnama. Babur often refers to "Afghans", and "Afghanistan". But many events that he describes as occurring in "Afghanistan" actually occur in contemporary Pakistan, and the "Afghans" he constantly complains about are all only Pashtuns. The various non-Pashtun ethnic groups of contemporary Afghanistan are designated by their actual names (Nukdari, Aymaq, Uzbek, etc).

  9. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Sein For This Useful Post:

     Alanson (01-02-2014),  Andrewid (06-19-2018),  DMXX (01-30-2014),  Ian B (01-10-2014),  Ithy (02-21-2017),  Kulin (05-30-2018),  Mehrdad (01-10-2014),  NK19191 (01-02-2014),  parasar (01-02-2014),  Sapporo (01-02-2014),  ViktorL1 (01-10-2014)

  10. #6
    Registered Users
    Posts
    163
    Sex
    Ethnicity
    Central Asian

    United Nations
    I've always been interested in Afghanistan-- it seems like a true "melting pot" of various nationalities.. According to a study by the Asia Foundation in 2012, Pashtuns accounted for 40% of the Afghanistani population, with Tajiks at 33%, Hazaras at 11%, and Uzbeks at 9%. All of the other groups were much smaller. I don't know to what extent Afghani Tajiks feel connected to Tajikistani Tajiks, although the cultures clearly are different.

    Is Kabul city mostly Pashtun, Tajik, or is it mixed? Why aren't the Pashtuns of Afghanistan very urbanized?

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ViktorL1 For This Useful Post:

     DMXX (01-30-2014),  Sein (01-10-2014)

  12. #7
    Banned
    Posts
    1,103
    Sex
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Ethnicity
    Pashtun
    Nationality
    American
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1a1a1-M417 (Z94).
    mtDNA (M)
    M4'67

    Kabul is quite a mixture, but the city is predominantly Tajik+Hazara. I think Pashtuns account for 25% of it's population. Interestingly though, Kabul belongs to the same cultural-geographic zone as Peshawar and Jalalabad. Both Peshawar and Jalalabad can be considered regional "rivals" of Kabul, in terms of cultural and political prominence.

    I'd say Pashtuns have always been a rural ethnicity. The only truly Pashtun city in Afghanistan is Kandahar. Jalalabad and Gardez also have Pashtun majorities, but this is a recent phenomenon (last 100 years). Gardez had a Tajik majority, and Jalalabad was as diverse as Kabul. But even with Kandahar, one must remember that it's not a very old city (the Kandahar region is old, but the regional center was formerly the city of Bost).

    But things are changing in Afghanistan. Urbanization is occurring among Pashtuns at a very fast pace, as much of the countryside is in poor shape, and many Afghanistani Pashtuns have been exposed to urban living in Pakistan.

  13. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Sein For This Useful Post:

     DMXX (01-30-2014),  Joe B (01-10-2014),  Mehrdad (01-10-2014),  ViktorL1 (01-10-2014)

  14. #8
    Administrator
    Posts
    3,763
    Sex
    Y-DNA (P)
    R2a*-M124 (L295-)
    mtDNA (M)
    D4j5*

    England
    I recall reading in a book years ago that there was a socio-ethnic basis to the Taliban's treatment of certain groups in Afghanistan. If I remember correctly, the book claimed that the members of the Taliban were mostly rural Pashtuns from the southern portion of the country. A lot of them resented the urban Dari-speaking Afghans, who in the 1950's onwards were at the forefront of business and were largely responsible for Afghanistan's relatively "modern" image at the time. Thus, some animosity was harboured between the Taliban and these affluent Dari-speakers who regularly visited Iran as a sign of their wealth.

    Has anyone else read or experienced something similar? If I can find the name of this book I'll share it here. I'm quite interested to find out whether this had any bearing at all with the Northern Alliance.

  15. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to DMXX For This Useful Post:

     Alanson (01-31-2014),  MikeWhalen (01-30-2014),  Sein (01-30-2014),  ViktorL1 (01-30-2014)

  16. #9
    Banned
    Posts
    1,103
    Sex
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Ethnicity
    Pashtun
    Nationality
    American
    Y-DNA (P)
    R1a1a1-M417 (Z94).
    mtDNA (M)
    M4'67

    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    I recall reading in a book years ago that there was a socio-ethnic basis to the Taliban's treatment of certain groups in Afghanistan. If I remember correctly, the book claimed that the members of the Taliban were mostly rural Pashtuns from the southern portion of the country. A lot of them resented the urban Dari-speaking Afghans, who in the 1950's onwards were at the forefront of business and were largely responsible for Afghanistan's relatively "modern" image at the time. Thus, some animosity was harboured between the Taliban and these affluent Dari-speakers who regularly visited Iran as a sign of their wealth.

    Has anyone else read or experienced something similar? If I can find the name of this book I'll share it here. I'm quite interested to find out whether this had any bearing at all with the Northern Alliance.
    This is quite true, the Taliban movement is completely Pashtun. They have virtually zero presence among non-Pashtun Afghanistanis. Although, things do get complicated. The driving force behind the Taliban movement is the Ghilzai confederacy. The Durrani Pashtuns of Afghanistan are much more "modernized" and liberal in comparison to the Ghilzai. Both tribal confederacies are traditionally enemies, but it is the Durrani confederacy that has created the contemporary state of Afghanistan. They constitute the political "elite" of the country, and are also on very good terms with Farsiwan people. But the Durrani tend to stay away from conflict. This has put them at a great disadvantage, whenever the country is in a rough spot. During the tumult of the Khalq movement, few if any Durrani Pashtun joined the communists. By contrast, nearly all of the Afghans who sought to propagate Marxism in the country were Ghilzai Pashtuns. And, in one of the greatest ironies one can conceivably find in recent history, during the Soviet invasion, the Durrani plains and valleys were pretty quiet, while Loya Paktia and Kabulistan (the Ghilzai heartland) were war zones. Communist+Atheist Ghilzai Pashtuns fought Ghilzai Pashtun "Mujaheddin" (which must have made for a rather schizophrenic experience, on both sides). In the civil war that followed, it was Ghilzai Pashtuns who tried to control Kabul, while Durrani Pashtuns just awaited the outcome. But interestingly, the Ghilzai Pashtuns have never truly controlled Afghanistan. In terms of governance, the Taliban government was quite a severe failure. What the Durrani lack in militancy and aggressiveness, they make up for in governance. They just understand peaceful governance far better than the Ghilzai.

    You're quite right, the Northern Alliance basically involved all of Afghanistan's non-Pashtun ethnic groups (although, I think the Hazara operated via a separate organization).
    Last edited by Sein; 01-30-2014 at 04:20 AM.

  17. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Sein For This Useful Post:

     Alanson (01-30-2014),  Andrewid (06-19-2018),  DMXX (01-30-2014),  MikeWhalen (01-30-2014),  NK19191 (01-30-2014),  parasar (01-30-2014)

  18. #10
    Registered Users
    Posts
    240
    Sex

    United States of America Iran United States of America Iran
    AFGHAN (afḡān), in current political usage, any citizen of Afghanistan, whatever his ethnic, tribal, or religious affiliation. According to the 1977 constitution of the Republic of Afghanistan (1973-78), all Afghans are equal in rights and obligations before the law. In an attempt to alleviate the inevitable tensions and conflicts of an ethnically diverse state, the republic discouraged reference to ethnic or tribal origin and prohibited the use of personal names that evoke an ethnic group (such as Afrīdī, Aḥmadzay, Ōrmuṛ, Nūrzay, Pōpalzay, Wardak, etc.).
    The equation Afghans = Paṧtūn has been propagated all the more, both in and beyond Afghanistan, because the Paṧtūn tribal confederation is by far the most important in the country, numerically and politically. The Afghans or Paṧtūn are characterized by: (1) Their language, Paṧtō, the most important Iranian language of the east, with a remarkably rich literature. (2) Their clan structure, which clearly distinguishes them from the Tajik of Afghanistan who generally have none at all (see Paṧtūn). (3) Their social code, paṧtūnwalī (see Paṧtūn) or simply paṧtō, that governs relations among some Paṧtūn, as a code of honor, and defines the essential principles of the individual ethic and the national virtues. (4) Certain characteristics, both social and cultural, extinct or living, (e.g., wēš, the periodic redistribution of lands; nomadism, etc.).
    The term “Afḡān” has probably designated the Paṧtūn since ancient times. Under the form Avagāṇa, this ethnic group is first mentioned by the Indian astronomer Varāha Mihira in the beginning of the 6th century A.D. in his Bṛhat-saṃhitā.
    @Sein Please correct me if I am wrong. But My Understanding about the Rise of Modern Pashtun Identity, it can be traced to the time when both Safavid and Mughal Dynasties were Contesting in South Central Asia ( Afghanistan ) for Influence. Afghanistan eventually became a buffer region between the more Powerful empires. However, through time Pashtuns tribes became much better organized and eventually played a major role in the downfall of both Empires (the Safavid and the Mughal Empires).




    The Pashtuns eventually Defeated the Safavid and overthrew that Empire and defeated the Mughals in several Battles and established the short lived Hotaki Dynasty from 1722-1729 A.D.




    However, it was until the Durrani Empire that Pashtuns had established themselves as a major force in the region.
    The Durrani Empire (Pashto: د درانیانو واکمني‎), also called the Sadozai Kingdom and the Last Afghan Empire,[4] was founded in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani with its capital at Kandahar, Afghanistan.[5][6] The Durrani Empire encompassed present-day Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, eastern Turkmenistan (including the Panjdeh oasis), most of Pakistan, and northwestern India, including the Kashmir region. With the support of various tribal leaders, Ahmad Shah Durrani extended Afghan control from Khorasan in the west to Kashmir and Delhi in the east, and from the Amu Darya in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south.[7] In the second half of the 18th century, after the Ottoman Empire the Durrani Empire was the second-largest Muslim empire.[7]


    This changed with the coming of the Great Game between the Russian and British empires in the beginning of the 19th century. Russia's imperial expansion into Central Asia coincided with the growth of the British domain over India, and the result was the establishment of a buffer zone in what is now Afghanistan. This set the borders of Afghanistan as we know them and -- with the transition from the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union in the early 20th century.

    Last edited by NK19191; 01-31-2014 at 01:32 PM.

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NK19191 For This Useful Post:

     DMXX (01-30-2014),  Sein (01-30-2014)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-30-2018, 10:08 PM
  2. Replies: 33
    Last Post: 11-12-2013, 08:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •