Ethnic groups in Afghanistan

Ethnic groups in Afghanistan

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Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 is a multiethnic society
Multiethnic society
A multiethnic society is one with members belonging to more than one ethnic group, in contrast to societies which are ethnically homogenous. In practice, virtually all contemporary national societies are multiethnic...

. The population of the country is divided into a wide variety of ethnolinguistic groups
Ethnolinguistics
Ethnolinguistics is a field of linguistics which studies the relationship between language and culture, and the way different ethnic groups perceive the world. It is the combination between ethnology and linguistics. The former refers to the way of life of an entire community i.e...

. The ethnic groups of the country are as follow: Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

, Aimak, Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

, Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

, Pashai, Nuristani, Arab
History of Arabs in Afghanistan
The history of Arabs in Afghanistan spans over one millennium, from the 7th century Islamic conquest when Arab ghazis arrived with their Islamic mission until recently when others from the Arab world arrived to defend fellow Muslims from the Soviet followed by their liberation by NATO forces...

, Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, Pamiri
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 and some others.

Ethnic identity



The term "Afghan", historically synonymous with "Pashtun", is today the national identity of Afghanistan. Despite being of various ethnicities, in a research poll that was conducted in Afghanistan in 2009, 72% of the population labelled their identity as Afghan first, before ethnicity.

The modern Afghan national identity is derived from the rise of the Pashtun Hotaki and Durrani
Durrani
Durrani or Abdali is the name of a chief Pashtun tribal confederation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Originally known by their ancient name Abdali later as Durrani they have been called Durrani since the beginning of the Durrani Empire in 1747. The number of Durranis are estimated to be roughly 16%...

 dynasties, especially with the establishment of the Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 (Afghan Empire) in the early-18th century. From 1747 until 1826, Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

 and his descendants held the monarchy in direct session. They were the first rulers of a Pashtun dominated sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 and were later replaced by the Pashtun Barakzai dynasty
Barakzai dynasty
The Barakzai dynasty ruled Afghanistan from 1826 until 1929 or 1973 when the monarchy rule finally ended under Mohammad Zahir Shah. The Barakzai dynasty was established by Dost Mohammad Khan after the Durrani dynasty of Ahmad Shah Durrani was removed from power...

.

While national culture of Afghanistan is not uniform, at the same time, the various ethnic groups have no clear boundaries between each other and there is much overlap. Additionally, ethnic groups are not racially homogenous. Due to their higher number, the Pashtun culture
Pashtun culture
Pashtun culture is based on Pashtunwali, which is an ancient way of life, as well as speaking of the Pashto language and wearing Pashtun dress. The culture of the Pashtun people is highlighted since at least the time of Herodotus or Alexander the Great, when he explored the Afghanistan and...

 is perhaps the most dominant culture within the country, creating some uniformity. A lot of national and cultural aspects of the country reflect the Pashtun culture. For example, among others things, the Pashtun attan dance, performed to Pashto music
Pashto music
Pashto music is commonly found in Pakistan, Afghanistan and among the Pashtun diaspora around the world. It is mainly listened to in the Pashtun regions, which includes Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Balochistan in Pakistan...

, has become the Afghan national dance; the Pashtun dress has become a symbol of the national outfit; and the Afghan National Anthem
Afghan National Anthem
The Afghan National Anthem was adopted and officially announced in May 2006. According to article 20 of the Constitution of Afghanistan, "The national anthem of Afghanistan shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Greatest" as well as the names of the ethnicities of Afghanistan." The lyrics...

 is in the Pashto language.

Since Afghan history is fraught with regional cleavages any notion of an Afghan nation state is absent until the rise of the Hotakis and Durranis in the early-18th century. Important Persian figures from the past such as Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 and Rumi are generally not identified as ethnic Afghans, at least according to academics, while they are generally included within the context of the collective history of the modern nation-state in the geographic sense.

Pashtuns


The Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 (ethnic Afghans) are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Their native territory is between south of the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 in neighboring Pakistan, where they are the second largest ethnic group
Ethnic groups in Pakistan
About 98% of languages spoken in Pakistan are Indo-Iranian , a branch of Indo-European family of languages. Most languages of Pakistan are written in the Perso-Arabic script, with significant vocabulary derived from Arabic and Persian. Punjabi , Seraiki, Sindhi, Pashto, Urdu, Balochi, Kashmiri , etc...

. Pockets of Pashtun communities are also found in northern and western Afghanistan. Smaller groups of Pashtuns are also be found in the eastern section of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, next to the border with Afghanistan.

There are conflicting theories about the origin of the Pashtun people, both among historians and the Pashtun themselves. A variety of ancient groups with eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

s similar to Pukhtun have been hypothesized as possible ancestors of modern Pashtuns. The Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 mentioned a people called Pactyans, living in the Achaemenid
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

's Arachosia
Arachosia
Arachosia is the Latinized form of the Greek name of an Achaemenid and Seleucid governorate in the eastern part of their respective empires, around modern-day southern Afghanistan. The Greek term "Arachosia" corresponds to the Iranian land of Harauti which was between Kandahar in Afghanistan and...

 Satrap
Satrap
Satrap was the name given to the governors of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as the Sassanid Empire and the Hellenistic empires....

 as early as the 1st millennium BC
1st millennium BC
The 1st millennium BC encompasses the Iron Age and sees the rise of many successive empires, and spanned from 1000 BC to 1 BC.The Neo-Assyrian Empire, followed by the Achaemenids. In Greece, Classical Antiquity begins with the colonization of Magna Graecia and peaks with the rise of Hellenism. The...

. Since the 3rd century AD and onward they are mostly referred to by the ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 "Afghan". Some believe that ethnic Afghan is an adaptation of the Prakrit ethnonym Avagānā, attested in the 6th century CE. It was used to refer to a common legendary ancestor known as "Afghana
Afghana
Afghana or Avagana is considered in Afghan folklore a tribal chief or prince of Bani Israel origin and a progenitor of modern-day Pashtuns , the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and second largest in Pakistan...

"
, propagated to be grandson of King Saul of Israel
Saul
-People:Saul is a given/first name in English, the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name Shaul from the Hebrew Bible:* Saul , including people with this given namein the Bible:* Saul , a king of Edom...

.
According to scholars such as V. Minorsky
Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky
Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky was a Russian Orientalist best known for his contributions to Kurdish and Persian history, geography, literature, and culture.-Life and career:...

 and others, the name Afghan appeared in the 982 CE Hudud-al-Alam geography book. Al-Biruni referred to the Afghans in the 11th century as various tribes living on the western frontier mountains of Ancient India
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

 and Persia, which would be the area between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River. According to other sources, some Pashtuns may be the Lost tribes of Israel who converted to Islam during the Arab Empire
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

. Since the 13th century, some Pashtun tribes conquered areas outside their traditional Pashtun homeland by pushing deeper into South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, often forming kingdoms such as the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

.

The Afghan identity began to develop as Pashtun identity in and around the early 18th century, under the rule of Ahmad Shah Durrani who united all the Pashtun tribes
Pashtun tribes
The Pashtun people are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and the second largest in Pakistan. Pashtun, tribes are divided into four supertribal confederacies: the Arbanee , Betanee , Gharghasht, and Karlanee .Traditionally, according to folklore, all Pashtuns are said to have descended, at...

 and formed the last Afghan empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

. Pashtuns are the traditional rulers of Afghanistan since the rise of the Hotaki dynasty in 1709 or more specifically when the Durrani Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

 was created in 1747. They practice Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and follow the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school of thought
Islamic schools and branches
Muslims are basically divided in two major factions, Sunnis and Shias, that are further divided into various Schools of Jurisprudence and orders of Imamate. All other movements within such as Salafi, Modernists, the Mystical Sufi Orders, Deobandi and Barelvi are either Sunni or Shia or both...

. The Karzai administration, which is led by Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai
Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

, is dominated by Pashtun ministers. Some notable Pashtuns of Afghanistan include: Nazo Tokhi, Akbar Khan
Akbar Khan
Amir Akbar Khan Amir Akbar Khan Amir Akbar Khan (1816 – 1846;, born as Mohammad Akbar Khan and famously known as Wazir Akbar Khan, was an Afghan Prince, a general, a tribal leader and Emir. He was active in the First Anglo-Afghan War, which lasted from 1839 to 1842...

, Ayub Khan, Malalai of Maiwand, Abdul Ahad Momand, Zalmay Khalilzad
Zalmay Khalilzad
Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and president of Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush...

, the Afghan Girl, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Hedayat Amin Arsala, Abdul Rahim Wardak, Sher Mohammad Karimi, Abdul Salam Azimi
Abdul Salam Azimi
Abdul Salam Azimi Abdul Salam Azimi Abdul Salam Azimi (Pashtu:عبدالسلام عظیمی (born: 1936, in Farah Province) is the Chief Justice of Afghanistan and, as such, the head of the Afghan Supreme Court since May 2006....

, Zalmai Rassoul
Zalmai Rassoul
Dr. Zalmai Rassoul is a politician in Afghanistan, serving as the Foreign Minister since January 2010 after receiving the confidence vote of the Afghan National Assembly. He previously served as National Security Advisor of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which he held since June 2002...

, Omar Zakhilwal
Omar Zakhilwal
Dr. Omar Zakhilwal , is an economist and a prominent politician in Afghanistan. He is the current Finance Minister as well as the Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Afghanistan. He is also the president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.-Early life:...

, Ghulam Farooq Wardak, Anwar ul-Haq Ahady, Daud Shah Saba
Daud Shah Saba
Dr. Daud Shah Saba is a politician in Afghanistan, who is serving as Governor of Herat Province since August 2010 when his predecessor Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani had resigned from the post.-Early years and education:...

, Mohammad Gulab Mangal, Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai is the current Governor of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.He previously served as Governor of Kandahar province, in the early 1990s and from 2001 until 2003.-Biography:...

, Asadullah Khalid, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Mohammad Ishaq Aloko
Mohammad Ishaq Aloko
Mohammad Ishaq Aloko ) is the Attorney General of Afghanistan since Ausgust 2008. He was appointed by President Hamid Karzai after Abdul Jabar Sabit was forced to resign from the post. An ethnic Pashtun, he was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan....

, Mohammed Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

, Ahmad Zahir
Ahmad Zahir
Ahmad Zahir was a singer, songwriter, and composer from Afghanistan. He is considered an icon of Afghan music and is sometimes called the "King of Afghan music"...

, Nashenas, Ubaidullah Jan
Ubaidullah Jan
Ubaidullah Jan Kandaharai, or simply known as Obaidullah Jan, was a prominent Pashto singer from Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was popular among the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan and in Quetta, Pakistan. He brought some new style to traditional Pashto music and was considered a classical singer...

, Naghma
Naghma
Naghma is a prominent Afghan singer who started in the early 1970s. She and her ex-husband, Mangal, were a popular musical duo who dominated Afghan music scene during the 1970s and early 1990s. Naghma sings in Pashto and Dari...

, Farhad Darya
Farhad Darya
Farhad 'Darya' Nasher is an Afghan singer and composer, as well as a highly acclaimed music producer, and Good Will and Peace Ambassador for Afghanistan to the United Nations. Widely popular, he has earned affection for not only his music but also patriotism...

, Suhaila Seddiqi
Suhaila Seddiqi
General Suhaila Seddiqi , often referred to as General Suhaila, is a retired politcian from Afghanistan. She served as the Minister of Public Health from December 2001 to around 2008. Prior to that she worked as a surgeon general in the military of Afghanistan.As a government minister, she is...

, Shukria Barakzai
Shukria Barakzai
Shukria Barakzai is an Afghan politician, journalist and entrepreneur, and a prominent Muslim feminist.-Early life:She was born in 1972 in Kabul, Afghanistan...

, Fauzia Gailani
Fauzia Gailani
Fauzia Gailani was elected to represent Herat Province in Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of its National Legislature, in 2005.She won almost 16,885 votes, more than any other candidate in Herat....

, the Hotakis, Durranis
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

, Tarzi
Tarzi
The Tarzi family is a branch of the Pashtun, Mohamedzai tribe of Afghanistan . Although a smaller branch of the Barakzai ruling dynasty, the Tarzi family has produced some of the most famous and affluent members...

s, Gailanis, and Karzais. The list of monarchs of Afghanistan were all Pashtuns, except one.

Tajiks


The Persian-speaking
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 Tajiks are closely related to the Persians of Iran. Sub-groups of the Tajiks include the Farsiwan
Farsiwan
Fārsīwān is a designation for Persian-speakers in Afghanistan. Although the term was originally coined with Persian language's lexical root , the suffix has been transformed into a Pashto form , and is usually utilized by the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan to designate the...

 and the Qizilbash. The major difference between them is that they are generally of the Shia sect
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 while the majority of Tajiks practice Sunni Islam. Scholars believe that they have descended from the native Indo-Iranian Bactrians, Sogdians and Scythian tribes and have been in this region since the times when the region was recognized as Ariana
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

. The area was ruled by ancient Persian emperors beyond the modern boundaries from first hand, but have lost power as the dominant group in the region due to other invading powers, so they were only able to rule and at the same time legitimize their rule as second- or even as immediate sub-rulers with strong influence on the foreigners – with the exception of the short 10-month rule of Habibullah Kalakani in 1929. The total number of Tajiks in Afghanistan was around 4.3 million in 1995.

Tajiks are the major ethnic group in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

, which borders Afghanistan in the north. Most Tajiks live in large cities and towns, and often they are found working in government ministries and public services. Large numbers of Tajiks can be found in the cities of Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Kabul, and Ghazni. They are also known for being bureaucrats, doctors, teachers, professors, merchants or traders, and shop keepers. Others live in rural areas and engage in farming activitines which includes herding. The ethnic Tajiks are the closest rivals to Pashtuns for political power and prestige in Afghanistan. Some notable Tajiks from Afghanistan include: Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani
Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was...

, Ahmad Shah Massoud, Ahmad Zia Massoud
Ahmad Zia Massoud
Ahmad Zia Massoud was the First Vice President of Afghanistan in the first elected administration of President Hamid Karzai, from December 2004 to November 2009...

, Mohammed Fahim
Mohammed Fahim
Mohammad Qasim Fahim is an Afghan military commander, politician and the First Vice President since November 2009. He was the Defense Minister of the Afghan Transitional Administration, beginning in 2002 and also served as Vice President from June 2002 to December 2004...

, Yunus Qanuni
Yunus Qanuni
Yunus Qanuni is a politician in Afghanistan. An ethnic Tajik from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, Qanuni is the leader of the Afghanistan e Naween political party and former Speaker of the House of the People .-Pre Election...

, Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan
Ismail Khan is a politician and former mujahideen commander from Afghanistan. Born in the western Afghan city of Herat, he rose to become a powerful rebel commander during in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, and then a key member of the Northern Alliance until finally becoming the Governor of Herat...

, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, Atta Muhammad Nur, Amrullah Saleh
Amrullah Saleh
Amrullah Saleh is an Afghan politician who last served as the head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security...

, Wasef Bakhtari
Wasef Bakhtari
Wasef Bakhtari is a renowned Persian poet, literary figure and intellectual.-Life and education:Even though his father was from Kabul, he spent most of his childhood in Mazari Sharif. He attended Bakhtar School for his primary and for most of his secondary education. After his family moved to...

, Abdul Latif Pedram, Massouda Jalal
Massouda Jalal
Massouda Jalal is a politician in Afghanistan, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs from October 2004 to July 2006. She was also the only woman candidate in theAfghan presidential election, 2004...

, Baz Mohammad Ahmadi
Baz Mohammad Ahmadi
Baz Mohammad Ahmadi is the current Deputy Minister of Interior for Counter-Narcotics and the former Governor of Badakhshan, in Afghanistan. He previously was Governor of Ghor Province...

, Mohammed Daud Daud
Mohammed Daud Daud
General H.E. Mohammed Daud Daud , also known as General Daud Daud, was the police chief in northern Afghanistan and the commander of the elite 303 Pamir Corps. He was considered one of the most effective and important opponents of the Afghan Taliban.Gen. Daud studied engineering in college...

 and Abdul Basir Salangi.

Hazaras


The Hazaras are a Persian-speaking
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 people who reside mainly in the Hazarajat
Hazarajat
The Hazarajat is the original homeland of the Hazara people, and lies in the central highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i-Baba mountains and the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. Its physical boundaries, however, are roughly marked by the Bamiyan Basin to the north, the headwaters of...

 region in central Afghanistan. They seem to have partial Mongolian
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 origins with admixture from surrounding indigenous, Iranian-speaking
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 groups. Linguistically the Hazara speak a dialect of Persian, known as Hazaragi, and sometimes their variant is interspersed with Mongolian
Mongolic languages
The Mongolic languages are a group of languages spoken in East-Central Asia, mostly in Mongolia and surrounding areas plus in Kalmykia. The best-known member of this language family, Mongolian, is the primary language of most of the residents of Mongolia and the Mongolian residents of Inner...

 words. It is commonly believed that the Hazara are descendants of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

's army, which invaded Afghanistan during the 12th century. Proponents of this view hold that many of the Mongol soldiers and their family members settled in the area and remained there after the Mongol empire
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 dissolved in the 13th century, converting to Islam and adopting local customs. Most of the Hazaras practice Shi'a Islam
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

, while most of the other Afghans are Sunnis
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

. Hazaras living in Afghanistan were estimated in 1995 at about one million and now they are between 1.5 to 3 million. There are sizable Hazara communities in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 particularly in the city of Quetta
Quetta
is the largest city and the provincial capital of the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Known as the "Fruit Garden of Pakistan" due to the diversity of its plant and animal wildlife, Quetta is home to the Hazarganji Chiltan National Park, which contains some of the rarest species of wildlife in the...

, and in Iran among the Afghan refugees
Afghans in Iran
Afghans in Iran are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, nearly 1 million Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Iran...

.

Some notable Hazaras of Afghanistan include:
  • Karim Khalili
    Karim Khalili
    Abdul Karim Khalili is the current second Vice President of Afghanistan in the administration of President Hamid Karzai. Khalili was appointed first time as Vice President in 2002 and was elected as running mate of Hamid Karzai in 2004...

    , Vice President of Afghanistan
    Vice President of Afghanistan
    The Vice President of Afghanistan is the second highest political position obtainable in Afghanistan. Vice Presidents are elected in the same ticket as the President. The current Vice Presidents are Mohammad Qasim Fahim and Karim Khalili .-External links:** *List of current Vice Presidents...

  • Habiba Sarabi
    Habiba Sarabi
    Dr. Habiba Sarabi is a hematologist, politician, and reformer of the post-Taliban reconstruction of Afghanistan. In 2005, she was appointed as governor of Bamyan Province by President Hamid Karzai, becoming the first woman to ever be a governor of any province in the country...

    , politician
    Politics of Afghanistan
    The politics of Afghanistan consists of the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly, with a president serving as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the military. The nation is currently led by the Karzai administration under President Hamid Karzai who is backed by two vice...

     serving Governor of Bamyan Province
  • Sarwar Danish
    Sarwar Danish
    Sarwar Danish is the current Afghan Minister of Justice since 2004. He was born in Ashtarlay village of Afghan Province Daykundi in year 1961 to Mohammad Ali-See also:*Hazara people*Cabinet of Afghanistan*Afghan Ministry of Justice...

    , Minister of Higher Education
  • Sima Samar
    Sima Samar
    Dr. Sima Samar OC is a politician in Afghanistan, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs of Afghanistan from December 2001 to 2003...

    , chairperson of Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
    Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
    The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission is an Afghan organisation dedicated to the preservation of human rights and the investigation of human rights abuses....

  • Ramazan Bashardost
    Ramazan Bashardost
    Ramazan Bashardost is Afghanistan's former Planning Minister, a current member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan and was an independent candidate in the Afghan presidential election, 2009.- Early years :...

    , member of National Assembly of Afghanistan
    National Assembly of Afghanistan
    The National Assembly is Afghanistan's national legislature. It is a bicameral body, comprising two chambers:*Wolesi Jirga or the House of the People: the 250-member lower house.*Meshrano Jirga ) or the House of Elders: an upper house with 102 seats....

  • Abdul Haq Shafaq
    Abdul Haq Shafaq
    Abdul Haq Shafaq is the current governor of Faryab Province in Afghanistan. Before he has ben governor of Sar-e Pol Province and governor of Samangan Province....

    , politician serving as Governor of Faryab Province
  • Sayed Anwar Rahmati
    Sayed Anwar Rahmati
    Sayed Anwar Rahmati is a politician in Afghanistan, serving as Governor of Sar-e Pol Province since January 17, 2011. He was previously Chief of staff to Karim Khalili between 2004 and 2010. He is an ethnic Hazara...

    , politician serving as Governor of Sar-e Pol Province
  • Qurban Ali Oruzgani
    Qurban Ali Oruzgani
    Qurban Ali Oruzgani was appointed as the Governor of Daykundi Province, Afghanistan on 15 April 2010.Brief Biography :This is Haji Qurban Ali Oruzgani son of Mirza Muhammad Eisa, born in a religious family in 1/1/1337 in a village named Bagh Char in environs of Oruzgan Province. While being a child...

    , politician serving as Governor of Daykundi Provice
  • Azra Jafari
    Azra Jafari
    Azra Jafari was named by President Hamid Karzai as mayor of Nili, the capital of Daykundi Province in December 2008, thus becoming Afghanistan's first female city mayor. She was a refugee in Iran for several years under the Taliban...

    , mayor of Nilli
    Nili, Afghanistan
    Nili is the capital city of Nili District, Daykundi Province, Afghanistan. The town of Nili is at 2,022 m altitude and has a small airport with a gravel runway and a commercial radio station...

     in Daykundi Province
  • Abdul Ali Mazari
    Abdul Ali Mazari
    Abdul Ali Mazari was a political leader of the Hezbe Wahdat during and following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Mazari was an ethnic Hazara, and believed the solution to the divisiveness in Afghanistan was in federalism, where every ethnic group would have specific constitutional...

    , leader of the Hezbe Wahdat
    Hezbe Wahdat
    Hizb-e Wahdat-e Islami Afghanistan has been an important political and military player in Afghanistan since its founding in 1989. Like most contemporary major political parties in Afghanistan, Hizb-e Wahdat is rooted in the turbulent period of the anti-Soviet resistance movements in Afghanistan in...

     political party until his death in 1995
  • Mohammad Mohaqiq, founder and chairman of People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan
    People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan
    People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan is a political party in Afghanistan, formed after a split in the Hezbe Wahdat. The party is led by Mohammed Mohaqiq....


Uzbeks


The Uzbeks are the main Turkic people of Afghanistan whose native territory is in the northern regions of the country. Most likely the Uzbeks migrated with a wave of Turkic invaders and intermingled with local Iranian tribes over time to become the ethnic group they are today. By the 16th century the Uzbeks had settled throughout Central Asia and reached Afghanistan following the conquests of Muhammad Shaybani
Muhammad Shaybani
Abu 'I-Fath Muhammad , known in later centuries as Shaybani Khan , was a khan of the Uzbeks who continued consolidating various Uzbek tribes and laid foundations for their ascendance in Transoxiana. of Genghis Khan through his grandson Shayban and considered the Timurids as usurpers of the...

. The Uzbeks of Afghanistan are Sunni Muslims and usually bilingual, fluent in both Persian and Uzbek
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

. Uzbeks living in Afghanistan were estimated in the 1990s at approximately 1.3 million but are now believed to be 2 million.

Some notable Uzbeks in Afghanistan include:
  • Abdul Rashid Dostum
    Abdul Rashid Dostum
    Abdul Rashid Dostum is a former pro-Soviet fighter during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and is considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community and the party Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan...

    , leader of the Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan political party
  • Husn Bano Ghazanfar, Minister of Women's Affairs
  • Muhammad Yunus Nawandish
    Muhammad Yunus Nawandish
    Engineer Muhammad Yunus Nawandish is the current mayor of Kabul, appointed at the start of 2010. He is an ethnic Uzbek.Earlier, as of 2002 Nawandish served as Afghan Deputy Minister for Water and Power.-External links:...

    , mayor of Kabul since 2010.
  • Sherkhan Farnood
    Sherkhan Farnood
    Sherkhan Farnood was the Chairman of Kabul Bank until late 2010, which is Afghanistan's largest private financial institution with over 1 million customers. Farnood holds 28.16% of the shares in the Kabul Bank. He also owns Pamir Airways, in partnership with Khalilullah Fruzi/Frozi, Mohammed Fahim...

    , chairman of Kabul Bank
    Kabul Bank
    Kabul Bank is a commercial bank in Afghanistan, with its main branch in the capital of Kabul. Established in 2004, it is the main bank used to pay the salaries of the army and security forces. The bank provides facilities to maintain accounts in Current, Savings Bank and Fixed Deposits; and offers...

     until late 2010 and took part in the 2008 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE
    World Series of Poker Europe
    The World Series of Poker Europe is the first expansion effort of World Series of Poker-branded poker tournaments outside the United States. Since 1970, participants had to travel to Las Vegas if they wanted to compete in the World Series of Poker...

    )

Aimaq



Aimaq, meaning "tribe" in Turkic (Oymaq), is not an ethnic denomination, but differentiates semi-nomadic herders and agricultural tribal groups of various ethnic origins including the Tajik, Hazara and Baluch, that were formed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They live among non-tribal people in the western areas of Badghis, Ghor and Herat provinces. They are Sunni Muslims, speak dialects of the Persian language close to Dari, and refer to themselves with tribal designations. Population estimates vary widely, from less than 500,000 to around 800,000. A group of about 120,000 live in Iranian Khorasan.

Turkmen



The Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

 are the smaller Turkic group who can also be found in neighboring Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 and Iran particularly around Mashad. They are Sunni Muslims, and their origins are very similar to that of the Uzbeks. Unlike the Uzbeks, however, the Turkmen are traditionally a nomadic people (though they were forced to abandon this way of life in Turkmenistan itself under Soviet rule). In the 1990s their number was put at around 200,000.

Baloch



The Baloch people
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 are speakers of Balochi whos are mostly found in and around the Balochistan region of Afghanistan. In the 1990s their number figure was put at 100,000 but they are around 200,000 today. Large number of Baloch also live in neighboring Balochistan, Pakistan and well as in the Sistan and Baluchistan region of Iran. They are most likely an offshoot of the Kurds and reached Afghanistan sometimes between 1000 and 1300 BCE. Mainly pastoral and desert dwellers, the Baloch are also Sunni Muslim.

Nuristani


The Nuristani are an Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

 people, representing a fourth independent branch of the Aryan peoples (Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Nuristani, and Dardic), who live in isolated regions of northeastern Afghanistan as well as across the border in the district of Chitral
Chitral
Chitral or Chetrar , translated as field in the native language Khowar, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Kunar River , in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, high...

 in Pakistan. They speak a variety of Nuristani languages
Nuristani languages
The Nuristani languages are one of the three groups within the Indo-Iranian language family, alongside the much larger Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups. They are spoken primarily in eastern Afghanistan...

. Better known historically as the Kafirs of what was once known as Kafiristan (land of pagans), they converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 during the rule of Amir Abdur Rahman and their country was renamed "Nuristan", meaning "Land of Light" (as in the light of Islam). A small unconquered portion of Kafiristan
Kafiristan
Kāfiristān or Kāfirstān was a historic name of Nurestan , a province in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan and Pakistan, prior to 1896. This historic region lies on, and mainly comprises, basins of the rivers Alingar, Pech , Landai Sin, and Kunar, and the intervening mountain ranges...

 inhabited by the Kalash tribe who still practice their pre-Islamic religion still exists across the border in highlands of Chitral
Chitral
Chitral or Chetrar , translated as field in the native language Khowar, is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Kunar River , in Pakistan. The town is at the foot of Tirich Mir, the highest peak of the Hindu Kush, high...

, northwestern Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Many Nuristanis believe that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great's ancient Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, but there is a lack of genetic evidence for this and they are more than likely an isolated pocket of early Aryan invaders. Physically, the Nuristani are of the Mediterranean sub-stock with about one-third recessive
Recessive
In genetics, the term "recessive gene" refers to an allele that causes a phenotype that is only seen in a homozygous genotype and never in a heterozygous genotype. Every person has two copies of every gene on autosomal chromosomes, one from mother and one from father...

 blond
Blond
Blond or blonde or fair-hair is a hair color characterized by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of yellowish color...

ism. They are largely Sunni Muslims. The population in the 1990s is estimated at 125,000 by some; the Nuristani prefer a figure of 300,000.

Smaller groups


Smaller groups include Pashais, Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

s, Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

, Kyrgyz, Arabs
History of Arabs in Afghanistan
The history of Arabs in Afghanistan spans over one millennium, from the 7th century Islamic conquest when Arab ghazis arrived with their Islamic mission until recently when others from the Arab world arrived to defend fellow Muslims from the Soviet followed by their liberation by NATO forces...

, Gujjar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

s, and few others.

Ethnic composition



Because a systematic census has not been held in the nation in decades, exact figures about the size and composition of the various ethnic groups are unvailable. An approximate distribution of the ethnic groups is shown in the chart below:
Ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Ethnic group
Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

42% 38-50%
Tajik 27% 25-26.3% (of this 1% is Qizilbash)
Hazara 9% 12-19%
Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

9% 6-8%
Aimak 4% 500,000 to 800,000 individuals
Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

3% 2.5%
Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

2% 100,000 individuals
Others (Pashai, Nuristani, Arab
History of Arabs in Afghanistan
The history of Arabs in Afghanistan spans over one millennium, from the 7th century Islamic conquest when Arab ghazis arrived with their Islamic mission until recently when others from the Arab world arrived to defend fellow Muslims from the Soviet followed by their liberation by NATO forces...

, Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

, Pamiri
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

, Gujjar
Gujjar
The Gurjar are an ethnic group in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Gurjara, Gujar, Gurjjara and Gūrjara. The spelling Gurjara or Gurjar is preferable to the rest....

, etc.)
4% 6.9%

The percentage numbers in the chart at the bottom are from recent national opinion poll
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

s aimed at knowing how Afghan citizens feel about the 2001–present US-led war, the current political situation, as well as the economic and social issues affecting their daily lives. Two were conducted between 2006 to 2010 by the Asia Foundation (with technical assistance by the Indian Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies is an Indian social sciences and humanities research institute. It was founded in 1963 by Rajni Kothari and is largely founded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research...

and the Afghan Center for Socio-economic and Opinion Research) and one between 2004 to 2009 by a combined effort of the broadcasting companies NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, and ARD
ARD (broadcaster)
ARD is a joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters...

.

The 2006 Asia Foundation survey
Sampling (statistics)
In statistics and survey methodology, sampling is concerned with the selection of a subset of individuals from within a population to estimate characteristics of the whole population....

 involved 6,226 randomly-selected Afghan citizens from 32 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. However, Uruzgan Province (representing 1.1 percent) and Zabul Province
Zabul Province
Zabul is a historic province of Afghanistan. Zabul became an independent province from neighbouring Kandahar in 1963, with Qalat being named the provincial capital. It should not be confused with the city Zabol, on the Iranian side of the border with Afghanistan.- Political and security situation...

 (representing 1.2 percent) were excluded from the survey because of security concerns. The margin of sampling error in that survey is 2.5 percent.

To questions about their ethnicity at the end of the questionnaire
Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case...

s, the results of the total 7,760 Afghan citizens came as:
Ethnic group
Pashtun 38-46% 41% 42%
Tajik 37-39% 37% 31%
Hazara 6-13% 9% 10%
Uzbek 5-7% 9% 9%
Aimak 0-0% 0% 2%
Turkmen 1-2% 2% 2%
Baloch 1-3% 1% 1%
Others (Nuristani, Arab, etc.) 0-4% 1% 3%
No opinion 0-2% 0% 0%