Sunday, February 27, 2011



The Pashtoons (Pakhtoons) related from the dominant ethnic and linguistic community, accounting for just over half the population. Tribally organized, the Pathan are concentrated in the east and the south. As they gained control over the rest of the country in the 19th century, however, many of them settled in other areas too. The Pashtuns mostly speak Pashto (although some residing in Kabul, Kandahar and other urban areas speak Dari) and are generally Sunni Muslims. They are divided into tribal and sub-tribal groups to which they remain loyal. These tribal divisions have been the source of conflict among Pashtuns throughout their history. Even today, the Pashtun parties are divided along tribal lines. The majority of Pashtuns make their living off of animal husbandry and agriculture as well as some trade. In Afghanistan, Pashtuns have traditionally resided in a large semi-circular area following the Afghan border form north of the Darya-e-Morgab east and southward to just north of the 35' latitude. Enclaves of Pashtuns live scattered among other ethnic groups in much of the rest of the country, especially in the northern regions and in the western interior due to the resettlement policies of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, who ruled Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.

The Russian invasion of 1979 has been the major determining factor in Afghanistan's ethnic relations since that point in time. From that time Until mid-1991 the various factions of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, all dominated by Pashtuns, controlled the country's government. All other factions either opposed or aligned themselves with the PDPA (with most in the opposition), including several Pashtun factions. It is not within the scope of this chronology to document the constant shifts in alliances between various factions, both between the opposition and government camps and within them. However, it should be noted that most of the factions were ethnically homogeneous and were engaging in a constant shifting of alliances worthy of traditional balance of power theory and continue to do so today. The Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 has only affected the power relations among the country's various factions but has not changed the fact that they are in constant competition with each other.

In the North of the Hindu Kush in Afghan Turkistan, a substantial number of people (perhaps 1.6 million) are descended from the Central Asian Turks who frequently invaded from the north. The most populous Turkish group in Afghanistan is the Uzbeks, who have broad, flat faces and lighter skin than the Pushtuns. They are farmers and stockmen, breeding the karakul sheep and an excellent type of Turkman horse. These people have kinsmen in the central republic of Uzbekistan. Many Uzbeks fled into northern Afghanistan in the 1920s to escape the suppression when the Soviet government was trying to stamp out their customs and Moslem religion.

The Tajiks are mostly Sunni Muslims and speak Persian. They live predominantly in the north-east and in the west. Some also live in Kabul and the big number of Uzbeks living in Mazar-e-shareef.

The Hazara community speak Farsi and are mostly Shie'i Muslims, there are also some Hazaras Sunni Muslims. They settled in Afghanistan at least as far back as the 13th century. Hazaras have always lived on the edge of economic survival. As a result of Pashtun expansionism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries which was fueled by Sunni prejudices against the Shie'i (thus attracting the help of the mostly Sunni Tajiks and Uzbeks) the Hazaras were driven to the barren dry mountains of central Afghanistan (the Hazarajat) where they live today separated into nine regionally distinct enclaves. The Hazaras are primarily sedentary farmers practicing some ancillary herding. Many Hazaras also migrated to the major towns, particularly Kabul where they occupied the lowest economic rungs. It is perhaps this economic deprivation which caused the Hazaras and other Shi'i to organize politically during the 1960s and 1970s and concentrate on gaining political autonomy for themselves during the Soviet occupation. During the Soviet occupation, the Soviets abandoned any pretense of controlling the region. During this time, the Hazaras engaged in a violent civil war.

The Nooristanis are the smaller ethnic group of afghanistan, basically they live in remote mountain area of Kabul and some of Pakistan's border areas.

Half a million Aimaqs, whose origin is vague, live west of the Hazarajat in the region between Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat and Bamiyan Afghanistan triangle. Baluchis (Balochi) nomads drive their flocks across the border from their province in southwestern Pakistan. They live mostly in the southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, Nimruz and Farah. Balochi are very different from Pakistan Baloch ethnic group. The most of Baloch living in Pakistan in Balochistan Province in the Rural areas. Although the most of business are doing by Pashtoons in Balochistan.

Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have different histories. Hindus have always lived in Afghanistan. They call themselves Kandharis and not Multanis and Punjabies. Some of the old temples in the area also point to this theory. The word Kandh in Seraiki means wall. Kandahar used to have many walls. The language spoken by Afghan Hindus in Kandahar known as Kandhari/Pashto is probably "Jataki". There's Chahbra family in Bombay who traces his ancestry back to someone from Kabul from ten generations back. There are many families from India, mostly Sikh, who have the last name of Kandhari.

Wazir Khan

Skype. lalakhanjee

No comments:

Post a Comment