What race do Afghan Persians belong to

Ethnic groups in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, the Pashtuns, with 40 percent the largest ethnic group, set the tone. Since the founding of the Afghan nation by the Pashtun Akhmed Shah Durrani in 1747, they have provided all political leaders in Afghanistan - with one exception. Almost ten years ago, a Tajik managed to take power. But as early as 1996, President Burhanudin Rabbani was driven into exile. The Tajiks are the second largest ethnic group with 25 percent.

The fact that eight percent Hazars, six percent Uzbeks and many other small groups, including Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs and Baluch, live in Afghanistan is due to the geographical location. Located between the Iranian highlands, the Central Asian steppe and today's Pakistan, the region was an important trading hub for centuries.

Confusing variety

What separates the ethnic groups are their historical roots, the language and the orientation of Islam. The Pashtuns come from the Pakistani border region and follow the Sunni faith. Their language is Pashto, one of the official languages ​​of Afghanistan alongside Dari. The city of Kandahar in southwest Afghanistan, now known as the Taliban stronghold, is the center of the Pashtun population. King Mohammed Sahir Shah, who has lived in exile in Rome since his fall in 1973, is also a Pashtun from Kandahar.

The Hazars, a Mongol people who see themselves in the tradition of Dschinghis Khan, on the other hand, belong to the Shiite faith. They have settled in central Afghanistan in the strategically important region west of Kabul and make up eight percent of the population. The Hazars participated in the political rule of the Pashtuns since the beginning of the 20th century. But since the Taliban took power in 1996, they have been persecuted for their Shiite beliefs. Their language is of Persian origin, as is that of the Tajiks, who come from the border region with Tajikistan. The Turkic Uzbeks also have their roots in the north. The Uzbeks share their Sunni religion with the dominant Pashtuns.