Pashtuns and Gandhara: on Pashtun-Afghan ethnogenesis

It would be interesting to understand the mechanism of how the Pashto language made inroads into the Gandhara region which has been historically known as being a non-Pashto area. Gandhara comprised of the Kabul River valley, Peshawar Valley and Swat Valley, and environs right up to Kabul and north of the Hindu Kush. As per the area’s scant Pashtun tradition itself, the full induction and ascendancy of Pashto here was very recent on the historic timescale – save for the minor exception of the Dilazaks. Pashto is primarily a…

The lost Tajiks of Pakistan

The medieval Mumlikat-e-Gibar of northeastern Afghanistan and the northern areas of Pakistan was established as a Muslim Tajik sultanate in about 1190 AD. Being ruled in tandem by two brothers, Sultan Bahram and Sultan Pakhal (or Fahkal) Gibari, they were the scions of an earlier local Tajik princely dynasty of Zoroastrian converts, ruling the famous Pech Valley area in Kunar in Afghanistan. Hence their family was named Gibari which was taken from “Gabr”, a term used derogatively by early Arabs for unconverted Zoroastrians.…