Pashtun: South Asian Studies

Topics: Afghanistan, Pashto language, Pashtun people Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: April 13, 2013
According to the renowned linguists Darmesteter and Henderson, Pashto has "descended form Avestan".[10][11][12] The word "Pashto" derives by regular phonological processes from Parsawā- "Persian".[46] Nonetheless, the Pashtuns are sometimes compared with the Pakhta tribes mentioned in the Rigveda (1700–1100 BC), apparently the same as a people called Pactyans, described by the Greek historian Herodotus as living in the Achaemenid's Arachosia Satrapy as early as the 1st millennium BC.[47] However, this comparison appears to be due mainly to the apparent, etymologically unjustified, similarity between their names.[48] Strabo, who lived between 64 BC and 24 CE, explains that the tribes inhabiting the lands west of the Indus River were part of Ariana and to their east was India. Since the 3rd century CE and onward, they are mostly referred to by the name "Afghan" ("Abgan")[49][50][51] and their language as "Afghani".[8] Scholars such as Abdul Hai Habibi and others believe that the earliest modern Pashto work dates back to Amir Kror Suri in the eighth century, and they use the writings found in Pata Khazana. However, this is disputed by several European experts due to lack of strong evidence. Pata Khazana is a Pashto manuscript[52] claimed to be first compiled during the Hotaki dynasty (1709–1738) in Kandahar, Afghanistan. During the 17th century Pashto poetry was becoming very popular among the Pashtuns. Some of those who wrote poetry in Pashto are Khushal Khan Khattak, Rahman Baba, Nazo Tokhi and Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the modern state of Afghanistan or the Afghan Empire. Pashto (Naskh: پښتو - [paʂˈto]; also transliterated Pakhto, Pushto, Pukhto, Pashtu, or Pushtu), also known as Afghani,[6][7] is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in Afghanistan and western Pakistan.[8] Pashto belongs to the Eastern Iranian[9] branch of the Indo-Iranian language family. The number of Pashto-speakers is estimated to be 30-40 million, and as defined in the...
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