Peoples and Ethnic Groups – Summary
Some major points to recall from this lesson on the people and tribes of Afghanistan are:
- The population of Afghanistan consists of a mosaic of ethnic groups including:
- Pashtun (42%)
- Tajiks (27%)
- Hazara (9%)
- Uzbeks (9%)
- Assorted minor groups (13%)
- There is a substantial amount of interaction among the different ethnic groups which tends to blur lines of loyalty.
- Tribes usually form the basis for political stability and for the promotion of political interests.
- The conflict between the new Afghan government and the tribes is most evident with the Pashtun tribes and their Pashtunwali code.
- Melmastia (hospitality), Badal (revenge), and Nanawatay (asylum) are key principles of the Pashtunwali code.
- The Pashtunwali principles of Nang, Tor and Namus all deal with honor.
- Not observing these customary laws is considered disgraceful and may lead to social punishments such as expulsion of an individual or a whole family or even death.