Among historians, anthropologists, and the Pashtuns themselves, there is some debate as to who exactly qualifies as a Pashtun. The most prominent views are:
- Pashtuns are predominantly an Eastern Iranian people, who use Pashto as their first language, and live in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the generally accepted academic view.
- They are Sunni Muslims who follow Pashtunwali.
- In accordance with the legend of Qais Abdur Rashid, the figure traditionally regarded as their progenitor, Pashtuns are those whose related patrilineal descent may be traced back to legendary times.
These three definitions may be described as the ethno-linguistic definition, the religious-cultural definition, and the patrilineal definition, respectively.
Read more about this topic: Pashtun People
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... requires that only those who have a Pashtun father are Pashtun ... There are various communities who claim Pashtun origin but are largely found among other ethnic groups in the south and central Asian region who generally do ... Claimants of Pashtun heritage in South Asia have mixed with local Muslim populations and are referred to as Pathan, the Hindustani form of Pashtun ...
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