Pukhtuns or Pushtuns, historically known as ethnic Afghans[a] or Pathans, are an Iranic ethnic group native to South and Central Asia, who share a common history and culture.
They primarily live in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A substantial majority of ethnic Pashtuns share Pashto—an Eastern Iranic language in the Indo-European language family—as the native language.
Globally, the Pashtuns are estimated to number around 50 million, but an accurate count remains elusive due to the lack of an official census in Afghanistan since 1979.
The majority of the Pashtuns live in the region regarded as Pashtunistan, which has been split between two countries since the Durand Line border was formed after the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
The Pashtuns are a significant minority group in Pakistan, where they constitute the second-largest ethnic group or about 15 percent of the population.Smaller, but still significant Pashtun diaspora
communities exist in Sindh and Punjab Pakistan, especially in the cities of Karachi and Lahore, and in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, India. A recent Pashtun diaspora has also developed in
the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, primarily in the United Arab Emirates. As the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan (anywhere between 42 and 60 percent of the population), Pashtuns have been
the dominant ethno-linguistic group for over 300 years. During the Delhi Sultanate era, the 15th–16th century Lodi dynasty briefly replaced the preexisting rulers in North India until Babur completely
deposed the Lodi dynasty. The Pashtuns are the world's largest segmentary lineage ethnic group. Estimates of the number of Pashtun tribes and clans range from about 350 to over 400.Pashtuns are
the 26th largest ethnic group in the world. There have been many notable Pashtun people throughout history: Ahmad Shah Durrani is regarded as the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan,
while Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Faqir Ipi were Pashtun independence activists against the rule of the British Raj.Some others include Pir Roshan, Khushal Khattak, Amanullah Khan, Ayub Khan, Zakir Husain,
Daoud Khan, Najibullah, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hamid Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Imran Khan, Shahid Afridi, Rashid Khan, Malala Yousafzai, and Manzoor Pashteen.