The terms Pashtun and “Awghan” (which is how they pronounce Afghan) — are two of the most dubious labels around — up for the grabs by every and any lowly rascal here, who wishes to throw his weight around, needing an excuse to misbehave and show off. It has made the whole society here into one of growling and uppity curs.

Hopefully the best way to explode the Awghan myth is to resort to a proper and expert clarification of history, which has thus far been avoided. Till now this narrative was relying on nonsense — and its proponents didn’t bother because they had it going for them as far as corrupt US patronage and other support was concerned….

Now the geopolitical weather is changing. We also have the internet, and the youth are asking questions about Iranian history, and true knowledge.

Before long, a great many Peshawar and other local youth — those who even speak Pashto, will be viewing themselves and their antecedents as Iranians (Tajiks) rather than “Awghan”. My work has led to the facts now being internationally recognised. One might find it hard to believe, but there is no official historical KP narrative at all, and the Pashtuns-Awghans have to date been growling and running on empty!

Peshawar Valley is an area with a very long and rich heritage of mixed Iranian and Indic culture and civilisation that is only too well known in the annals of history by the name of Gandhara. It was only 500 years ago — when an array of tribal invaders hijacked this heritage — that it deteriorated. Too many good people nowadays unwittingly call themselves “Pashtun” because they know no better…

In sum, the “Pashtun” identity as it now exists and is defined in Pakistan, can be regarded as revolving around the speaking of the Pashto language (in one of its many forms) by a person of any ethnic origin resident in an area where Pashto is the established traditional speech; this further requires such a native speaker to have, foremost, an egotistic view on life, in which he is prepared to justify going to any extreme to defend his “honour”. This anti-social attitude which engenders criminal behaviours was initially introduced and monopolised here by certain Saka-influenced racial minorities which invaded and took over this region 500 years ago. Now, however it is propounded by any speaker of Pashto — especially avaricious and resentful Pashtun “wannabes” such as Gujjars and Kasabgar zaats from the poorer and deprived sections of society, where traditional culture is still the social bedrock.

The British colonialists worked to develop the “Pathan mystique” in order to scare Russia from contemplating encountering them — and encroaching upon the British Raj, for the territories of which eastern Iran served as the geopolitical buffer system. Similarly after them, their American successors on the world stage cultivated the myth of “Afghan invincibility” during their Jihad against the Soviet Union for similar designs, whether or not it was true. It was these malevolent strategies and their outcomes that were at the core of shaping the present disastrous instability which this war torn region and its society now find themselves facing.

Scholar, Historian, Ethnologist, Philosopher, Activist.