Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Source: United Nations Development Programme, Pakistan


Native Name

Total Speakers
9,585,000 (1993)

Usage By Country
Official Language: Afghanistan Home Speakers: Pakistan, Iran

It belongs to the Indo-European family, Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranic group. Western Pashto is the official language of Afghanistan, spoken by over 8 million people who are called "Pahtoon" in the north and "Pashtoon" in the south. Since the early 1930's the Afghan government has been making considerable efforts to standardise the language. Standard Pashto in Afghanistan is based on the Kandahar dialect, whereas Standard Pashto (Eastern Pashto, spoken by 9 million people) in Pakistan is based on the Peshawar dialect. It is written in the Perso-Arabic script, but the alphabet contains a number of letters not to be found in either Persian or Arabic.

Received 10/26/1998
Posted 11/16/1998
Checked 11/16/1998