Pashtuns (Pashto: پښتانه Pax̌tānə, also spelled as Pushtuns, Pakhtuns or Pukhtuns), also known as ethnic Afghans (Pashto: افغان) or Pathans (Urdu: پٹھان, Hindi: पठान Paṭhān), are an ethnic group with populations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are also significant communities of Pashtun descent in India, the Middle East, the European Union, North America, Australia, and other parts of the world.
The ethnic group was known historically as "Afghan", believed to have settled in the vast Pashtunistan (Pakhtunistan) tribal region in the first millennium C.E., between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan. According to Ethnologue, they currently number around 50 million but some sources give slightly lower or higher figures.
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