Origins of the name Afghan

Origins of the name Afghan

=Mainstream theories=


Etymological view supported by numerous noted scholars is that the name "Afghan" evidently derives from Sanskrit Ashvaka or Ashvakan (q.v), the Assakenoi of Arrian [ Arrian writes them Assakenoi. Strabo also calls them Assakanoi, but Curtius calls them Assacani.] . This view was propounded by scholars like Dr Christian Lassen [ Indische Alterthumskunde, Vol I, fn 6; also Vol II, p 129, et al.] , Dr J. W. McCrindle ["The name Afghan has evidently been derived from Asvakan, the Assakenoi of Arrian... " (Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180. See also: Alexander's Invasion of India, p 38; J. W. McCrindle).] , M. V. de Saint Martin [Etude Sur la Geog Grecque & c, pp 39-47, M. V. de Saint Martin.] , Élisée Reclus [The Earth and Its Inhabitants , 1891, p 83, Élisée Reclus - Geography.] etc, and has been supported by numerous modern scholars [ This includes Dr H. H. Wilson, L. Bishop, W. Crooke, James Darmesteter, H. K. Kakar, J. C. Vidyalnar, Chandra Chakravorty, Dr M. R. Singh, P. Smith, Henry Yule, A. C. Burnell, Dr J. L. Kamboj, S. Kirpal Singh and several others.] [ "Even the name Afghan is Aryan being derived from Asvakayana, an important clan of the Asvakas or horsemen who must have derived this title from their handling of celebrated breeds of horses" (See: Imprints of Indian Thought and Culture abroad, p 124, Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan).] [cf: "Their name (Afghan) means "cavalier" being derived from the Sanskrit, "Asva", or "Asvaka", a horse, and shows that their country must have been noted in ancient times, as it is at the present day, for its superior breed of horses. Asvaka was an important tribe settled north to Kabul river, which offered a gallant resistance but ineffectual resistance to the arms of Alexander "(Ref: Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1999, p 275, Royal Scottish Geographical Society).] ["Afghans are Assakani of the Greeks; this word being the Sanskrit Ashvaka meaning 'horsemen' " " (Ref: Sva, 1915, p 113, Christopher Molesworth Birdwood).] [Cf: "“The name represents Sanskrit Asvaka in the sense of a "cavalier," and this reappears scarcely modified in the Assakani or Assakeni of the historians of the expedition of Alexander” " (Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, Henry Yule, AD Burnell).] [See few more references on Asvaka = Afghan: The Numismatic Chronicle, 1893, p 100, Royal Numismatic Society (Great Britain); Awq, 1983, p 5, Giorgio Vercellin; Der Islam, 1960, p 58, Carl Heinrich Becker, Maymūn ibn al-Qāsim Tabarānī; Journal of Indian History: Golden Jubilee Volume, 1973, p 470, Trivandrum, India (City), University of Kerala. Dept. of History; Literary History of Ancient India in Relation to Its Racial and Linguistic Affiliations, 1970, p 17, Chandra Chakraberty; Stile der Portugiesischen lyrik im 20 jahrhundert, p 124, Winfried Kreutzen.; See: Works, 1865, p 164, Dr H. H. Wilson; The Earth and Its Inhabitants, 1891, p 83; Chants populaires des Afghans, 1880, p clxiv, James Darmesteter; Nouvelle geographie universelle v. 9, 1884, p 59, Elisée Reclus; Alexander the Great , 2004, p 318, Lewis Vance Cummings (Biography & Autobiography); Nouveau dictionnaire de géographie universelle contenant 1o La géographie physique ... 2o La .., 1879, Louis Rousselet, Louis Vivien de Saint-Martin; An Ethnic Interpretation of Pauranika Personages , 1971, p 34, Chandra Chakraberty; Revue internationale, 1803, p 803; Journal of Indian History: Golden Jubilee Volume, 1973, p 470, Trivandrum, India (City). University of Kerala. Dept. of History; Edinburgh University Publications, 1969, p 113, University of Edinburgh; Shi jie jian wen, 1930, p 68 by Shi jie zhi shi chu ban she. Cf also: Advanced History of Medieval India, 1983, p 31, Dr J. L. Mehta; Asian Relations, 1948, p 301, Asian Relations Organization ("Distributed in the United State by: Institute of Pacific Relations, New York."); Scottish Geographical Magazine, 1892, p 275, Royal Scottish Geographical Society - Geography; The geographical dictionary of ancient and mediaeval India, 1971, p 87, Nundo Lal Dey; Nag Sen of Milind Paṅhö, 1996, p 64, P. K. Kaul - Social Science; The Sultanate of Delhi, 1959, p 30, Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava; Journal of Indian History, 1965, p 354, University of Kerala Dept. of History, University of Allahabad Dept. of Modern Indian History, University of Travancore - India; Mémoires sur les contrées occidentales, 1858, p 313, fn 3, Stanislas Julien Xuanzang - Buddhism.] . In Sanskrit, word "ashva" (Iranian "aspa", Prakrit "assa") means "horse", and "ashvaka" (Prakrit "assaka") means "horseman" [Ref: Hindu Polity: A Constitutional History of India in Hindu Times, 1915, p 140, Dr K. P. Jayaswal; Sva, 1915, p 113, Christopher Molesworth Birdwood); Imprints of Indian Thought and Culture Abroad, 1980, p 124, Vivekananda Kendra; Stile der portugiesischen Lyrik im 20. Jahrhundert, 1980, p 124, Winfried Kreutzer.] , "horse people" [Al-Hind, The Making of Indo-Islamic World, 2002, p 84, Andre Wink; The Rise of the Indo-Afghan Empire, C. 1710-1780, 1995, p 16, JJL Gommans; Journal of Indian History Golden Jubilee Volume, 1973, p 470, University of Kerala, Department of History; A Geographical Introduction to the History of Central Asia, 1944, K. B. Codrington.] , "land of horses" [Historical Geography of Madhya Pradesh, From Early Records, 1977, p 3, Dr P. K. Bhattacharya; Proceedings of the World of Sanskrit Conference. 1985, p 783, Intrnational association of Sanskrit.] as well as "horse breeders" [Encyclopedia of Religions of Faiths of Man, Part I, 2003, p 554, J. G. R. Forlong.] . Pre-Christian times knew the people of eastern Afghanistan as "Ashvakas" (horsemen), since they raised a fine breed of horses and had a reputation for providing expert cavalrymen. The fifth-century-BCE Indian grammarian Panini calls them "Ashvakayana" [Ashtadhyayi, Nadadi gana IV-1, 99] and "Ashvayana" [ Ashtadhyayi Sutra IV-1, 110 ] respectively [History and Culture of Indian People, the Age of Imperial Unity, Vol II, p 45, Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar, Dr Munshi etc; Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash; See also: History of Porus, pp 12, 38; Ancient India, 2003, pp 260-61, Dr V. D. Mahajan; India as Known to Panini, pp 456-57, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Preliminary Notes on the Excavation of the Necropolises found in Western Pakistan and The Tombs of the Asvakayana-Assakenoi, Antonini, Chiara Silvi & Tucci, Giuseppe, pp 13 to 28; 'Asvakayana-Assakenoi', East and West, NS,. 14 (Roma, t963), pp 27-28.] . By the time of Indian astronomer Varāha Mihira (6th century A.D), Ashvakayana of Panini or the Ashvaka(na) of Mahabharata got transmuted to Avagānā (="Persian Abagan") [ Varahamihira's Brhata-Samhita(11.61; 16.37-38); India as Seen in the Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira, 1969, p 70, Dr Ajay Mitra Shastri; Afghanistan: Its People, Its Society, Its Culture, 1962, p 40, Donald Newton Wilber; Country Survey Series, p 42, Human Relations Area Files, inc; Contemporary West Asian Scene: A Selection of Papers Presented at a Seminar Held at Aligarh, 1980, p 252, Arif H. Rizvi, Aligarh Muslim University Centre of West Asian Studies; Ethnic Settlements in Ancient India: (a Study on the Puranic Lists of the Peoples of Bharatavarsa), 1955, p 104, Dr Sashi Bhusan Chaudhuri; Indo-Afghan Relations, 1947-67 (edition 1976), p 1, Hasan Ali Shah Jafri.] , the "0-po-kien" or "A-po-kien" of Yuan Chwang which term Alexander Cunningham and other scholars identify with name of Afghan [ The Ancient Geography of India. I. The Buddhist Period, Including the Campaigns of Alexander, p 87, Alexander Cunningham; India as Seen in the Brhatsamhita of Varahamihira, 1969, p 70, Dr Ajay Mitra Shastri.] . Classical writers, however, use the respective equivalents "Aspasioi" (or Aspasii, Hippasii) and "Assakenoi" (or Assaceni/Assacani, Asscenus) etc. The Aspasioi/Assakenoi ("Ashvakas = Cavalrymen") is stated to be another name for the Kambojas of ancient texts because of their equestrian characteristics [Political History of Ancient India, 1996, p 133 fn 6, pp 216-20, (Also Commentary p 576 fn 22), Dr H. C. Raychaudhury, Dr B. N. Mukerjee; Historie du bouddhisme Indien, p110, Dr E. Lammotte; History of Poros, 1967, p 89; East and West, 1950, pp 28, 149, 158, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti; History of Indian Buddhism: From the Origins to the Saka Era, 1988, P 100, History; Panjab Past and Present, pp 9-10, Dr Buddha Parkash. J. W. McCrindle says that the modern Afghanistan -- the Kaofu (Kambu) of Hiun Tsang was ancient Kamboja, and the name Afghan evidently derives from the Ashavakan, the Assakenoi of Arrian (Alexandra's Invasion of India, p 38; Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180, J. McCrindle); Ancient Kamboja, People and Country, 1981, pp 271-72, 278, Dr J. L. Kamboj; These Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119, 192, K. S. Dardi; Kambojas, Through the Ages, 2005, pp 129, 218-19, S Kirpal Singh; Sir Thomas H. Holdich, in the his classic book, "(The Gates of India, p 102-03)", writes that the Aspasians (Aspasioi) represent the modern Kafirs. But the modern Kafirs, especially the Siah-Posh Kafirs (Kamoz/Camoje, Kamtoz) etc are considered to be modern representatives of the ancient Kambojas. Other noted scholars supporting this view are Dr Romilla Thapar, Dr R. C. Majumdar etc.] . And undoubtedly, the Indian pseudo-epic Mahabharata speaks the Kambojas among the finest horsemen [Journal of American Oriental society, 1889, p 257, American Oriental Society; Mahabharata 10.18.13.] . In ancient Pali texts, the Kamboja land is described as the "land of horses" ["Kambojo assa.nam ayata.nam" i.e Kamboja the birthplace of horse......(|| Samangalavilasini, Vol I, p 124||).] [Aruppa-Niddesa of Visuddhimagga by Buddhaghosa describes the Kamboja land as the base of horses (10/28)] [ In the Anushasnaparava section of Mahabharata, the Kambojas are specifically designated as Ashava.yuddha.kushalah (expert cavalrymen).

:tatha Yavana Kamboja Mathuram.abhitash cha ye | :ete 'ashava.yuddha.kushalahdasinatyasi charminah. || 5 ||.] . The former Kafirs like Aspins of Chitral and Ashkuns or Yashkuns of Gilgit are identified as the modern representives of the Paninian Aśvakayanas ("Greek: Assakenoi"); and the Asip/Isap or Yusufzai (< Aspa.zai) in the Kabul valley (between river Kabul and Indus) are believed to be modern representatives of the Paninian Aśvayanas ("Greek: Aspasioi") respectively [The Quarterly Review, 1873, p 537, William Gifford, George Walter Prothero, John Gibson Lockhart, John Murray, Whitwell Elwin, John Taylor Coleridge, Rowland Edmund Prothero Ernle, William Macpherson, William Smith.] ["An Inquiry Into the Ethnography of Afghanistan", 1893, p 75, Henry Walter Bellew. ] [Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1864, p 681, by Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.] [ The Invasion of India by Alexander the Great as Described by Arrian, Q. Curtius, Diodoros, 1893, p 334, John Watson M'Crindle, Quintus Curtius Rufus, Marcus Junianus Justinus, Plutarch, Arrian, Diodorus. ] [Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab, 1971, p 72; History of Punjab, Publication Bureau Punjabi University Patiala, 1997, p 225, Dr Buddha Prakash .] [ A Comprehensive History of India, Vol II, p 118, Dr Nilkantha Shastri.] [ See also: Ancient Kamboja, People & the Country, 1981, p 278, These Kamboj People, 1979, pp 119-20, K. S. Dardi etc.] [ Mémoires sur les contrées occidentales, 1858, p 313, Stanislas Julien Xuanzang - Buddhism.] .


From the 3th century, when the Kushano-Sassanian civilization rose, we meet on the term Abagân. [Encyclopedia Britannica, Afghanistan History, Online Edition [ LINK] ] . Persian Abagan is same as Sanskrit Avagan (Avagana) referred to in the Brhat Samhita by Varaha Mihira. The Abagân lived in north-west frontiers on both sides of the Indus River. They are known to belong both to the Zoroastrian as well as the Hinduistic world. The Kambojas were predominantly Zoroastrians [Jataka, Vol VI, pp 208, 210 (trans Fausboll); The Jataka, VI, p 110, (Trans. E. B. Cowell) + Videvati XIV.5-6 + Herodotus (I.140); Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1912, p 256, Dr Grierson; Das Volk Der Kamboja bei Yaska, First Series of Avesta, Pahlavi and Ancient Persian Studies in honour of the late Shams-ul-ulama Dastur Peshotanji Behramji Sanjana, Strassberg & Leipzig, 1904, pp 213 ff, Dr Ernst Kuhn] [*Dr V. S. Agarwala writes: "As shown in the Jataka and Avestic literature, the Kamboja was the center of ancient Iranian civilization as is evidenced by the peculiar customs of the country " (Ref: The Kamboja Janapada, January 1964, Purana, Vol VI, No 1, p 229; Jataka edited by Fausboll, Vol VI, p 210.)

*Dr Michael Witzel: " The Kambojas, located somewhere in east Afghanistan, spoke Iranian language and followed Zoroastrian habits of killing lower animals " (Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda, Persica-9, 1980, fn 81, p 114; Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, Vol. 7 (2001), issue 3 (May 25), Art. 9).

*Dr D. C. Sircar: " The Kambojas were of Iranian extractions....they were settled in Afghanistan region in Uttarapatha. Their numbers were occasionally swelled by new migrants from Iran, especially during age of Achaemenians." (Purana, Vol V, No 2, July 1963, p 256, Dr D. C. Sircar).

*W. J. Vogelsang and Willem Vogelsang: "The name Kamboja was commonly applied in Indian sources to the Iranian population of the borderlands i.e Afghanistan " (The Afghans (Peoples of Asia), 2001, p 127).

*Dr R. Thapar: "The Kambojas were a tribe of the Iranians " (History of India, Vol. I, 1997, p 276).

*E. Benveniste: "The Kambojas..... were known in Indian traditions as a foreign people, with peculiar customs, ... raised celebrated horses, spoke - as the Nirukata (II,2.8) tells us - a language with Iranian words in it..... and had, according to Buddhist Jataka (VI.206, 27-30), a certain religious practice - the killing of insects, moths, snakes and worms - which we may recognize as Mazdean from the passages in Mazdean books like the Videvati (XIV.5-6) as well as from the remark of Herodotus (I.140) about the Persian religion " (Journal Asiatique, CCXLVI 1958, I, pp 47-48, E. Benveniste).] , besides a small population also being Hindu who had Mitra and Shiva as the highest gods.

Afghan and Afghanistan

The Pashtuns began to use the term as a self-designation some time in the Middle Ages. In this regard, the Encyclopædia Iranica states [Ch.M. Kieffer, "Afghan" (with ref. to "Afghanistan: iv. Ethnography"), in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition 2006, ( [ LINK] )] :

It further explains:

This information is supported by traditional Pashto literature, for example in the writings of the 17th century Pashto poet Khushal Khan Khattak ["extract from "Passion of the Afghan" by Khushal Khan Khattak; translated by C. Biddulph in "Afghan Poetry Of The 17th Century: Selections from the Poems of Khushal Khan Khattak", London, 1890] :

The last part of the name "-stān" is an Indo-Iranian suffix for "place", prominent in many languages of the region. The term "Afghanistan", meaning the "Land of Afghans", was mentioned by the 16th century Mughal Emperor Babur in his memoirs, referring to the territories south of Kabul that were inhabited by Pashtuns (called "Afghans" by Babur) [Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad Bābur in Bāburnāma, "Transactions of the year 908", translated by John Leyden, Oxford University Press 1921 ( [ LINK] )] .

Regarding the modern nation or country "Afghanistan", the Encyclopædia Of Islam [M. Longworth Dames, G. Morgenstierne, R. Ghirshman, "Afghānistān", in Encyclopaedia of Islam, Online Edition] states:

Until the 19th century, the name was only used for the traditional land of the Pashtuns, while the kingdom as a whole was known as the "Kingdom of Cabul", as mentioned by the British statesman and historian Mountstuart Elphinstone. [Elphinstone, M., "Account of the Kingdom of Cabul and its Dependencies in Persia and India", London 1815; published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown] . Later, Afghan authorities adopted and extended the name "Afghanistan" to the entire kingdom, after its English translation, "Afghanland", had already appeared in various treaties between British Raj and Qajarid Persia, referring to the lands that were subject to the Pashtun Barakzai Dynasty of Kabul. By the middle of the 19th century, the name "Afghanistan" had become the established name of the country, as evidenced by the writings of German philosopher Frederick Engels, who wrote in the year 1857: cquote|Afghanistan, an extensive country of Asia, north-west of India. It lies between Persia and the Indies, and in the other direction between the Hindu Kush and the Indian Ocean. It formerly included the Persian provinces of Khorassan and Kohistan, together with Herat, Beluchistan, Cashmere, and Sinde, and a considerable part of the Punjab.MECW Volume 18, p. 40; The New American Cyclopaedia - Vol. I, 1858;... [ Link] ] "Afghanistan" became fully recognized by the world community in 1919, after the country re-gained independence over its foreign affairs from the British, [M. Ali, "Afghanistan: The War of Independence, 1919", Kabul [s.n.] , 1960] and was confirmed as the country's official name in the nation's 1923 constitution. [Afghanistan's Constitution of 1923, under "King Amanullah Khan", English translation... [ Link] ]

Earlier references to the region

Before being called "Afghanistan", the region had gone through several name changes in its long history of over 5,000 years.

One of the most ancient names, according to historians and scholars, was "Aryana" - the Greek pronunciation of the ancient Avestan "Aryānām Vaejā", Old Persian "Aryānām Xšaθra" or the Sanskrit "Aryavarta", "Realm of the Aryans". Today this Old-Persian, and Avestan expression is preserved in the name "Iran" and it is noted in the name of the Afghan national airlines, "Ariana Airlines". The term "Aryānā Afghānistān" is still popular amongst Persian speakers in the country.

Many centuries later, large parts of the region were known as Khorasan, and hence present-day "Afghanistan" along with regions centered around Merv and Neishabur was recognized with the name PerB|خراسان (UniPers: "Xorâsân"), which in Pahlavi means "Land of the Rising Sun" [A.A. Dehkhoda, "Dehkhoda Dictionary", p. 8457] (PerB|خاور زمین).

In 19th century, Afghanistan was also known as "The Kingdom of Caboul" to the Europeans. ["History of Afghanistan, from the Earliest Period to the Outbreak of the War of 1878", p.2, "George Bruce Malleson", Elibron Classics Series, 2005 Adament Media Corporation, [,M1 LINK] ] In many books and maps published in 19th century in the United Kingdom and France, Afghanistan is called as Caboul.

Other theories

There are various other theories about the origins of the name "Afghanistan". However, they are not accepted by mainstream scholars.

#Pashtun legend places Afghana, the professed eponymous ancestor of the Afghans or Pushtuns, as a contemporary of Muhammad. On hearing about the new faith of Islam, Qais from Aryana travelled to Medina to see Muhammad, and returned to Aryana as a Muslim. Qais Abdur Rashid purportedly had many sons, one of whom was Afghana. Afghana, in turn, had four sons who set out to the east to establish their separate lineages. The first son went to Swat, the second to Lahore and India, the third to Multan, and the last one to Quetta. This legend is one of many traditional tales amongst the Pashtuns regarding their disparate origins. Again, it was this legendary Afghana who is stated to have given the Pushtuns their current name. It is notable that the Afghan of this legend is separated from the Afghana of Solomon's times by at least 11 centuries.
#The "Makhzan-e Afghān" by Nematullah, written in 1612 CE at the Mughal court in India, traces the "Afghan" or Pakhtun origin from Abraham. It states that King Saul had a son Irmia (Jeremia), who had a son called Afghana. Upon the death of King Saul, Afghana was raised up by King David, and was later promoted to the chief command of the army during the reign of King Solomon. The progeny of this Afghana multiplied numerously, and came to be called "Bani-Israel". In the sixth century BCE, Bakhtunnasar, or Nebuchadnezzar king of Babil, attacked Judah and exiled the progeny of Afghana to Ghor located in the center of what is now Afghanistan. In course of time, the exiled community came to be addressed as "Afghan" after the name of their ancestor, and the country got its name as Afghanistan. This traditional view has some critics who refer to insufficient historical records.
#H. W. Bellew, in his book "An Enquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan", believes that the name "Afghan" derives from the Latin term "Alban", used by Armenians as "Alvan" or "Alwan", which refers to mountaineers, and in the case of transliterated Armenian characters, would be pronounced as "Aghvan" or "Aghwan". To the Persians, this would further be altered to "Aoghan", "Avghan", and "Afghan" as a reference to the highlanders or "mountaineers" of the eastern Iranian plateau.
#There are also a few people who tend to link "Afghan" to an Uzbek word "Avagan" said to mean "original". [Gankovsky, Yu. V., et al "A History of Afghanistan." Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1982. 8vo. Cloth. 359 p. USD 22.50]
#By another authority, the name Afghan is said to mean "wailing" [Persia, p 142, Samuel G. Benjamin.] which the Persians are said to have contemptuously used for their plaintive eastern neighbors.

Modern usage

The Taliban used the phrase "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" to refer to their country. Between the fall of the Taliban after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 Loya jirga, Afghanistan was referred to by the Government of the United States as the "Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan". Under its new constitution, the country is now officially named the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Informations about Afghans in the medieval period

The term "Afghanistan", meaning the "Land of Afghans", was mentioned by the sixteenth century Mughal Emperor Babur in his memoirs, referring to the territories of Peshawar-Valley (Kohistan) that were inhabited by Pashtuns (called "Afghans" by Babur).

"...“Don't call it Kohistan, but Afghanistan; for there is nothing there but Afghans and dis­turbances.” Thus it is clear that for this reason the people of the country call their home in their own language Afghanistan, and themselves Afghans. The people of India call them "Pathān"; but the reason for this is not known. But it occurs to me, that when, under the rule of Muhammadan sovereigns, Musulmans first came to the city of Patna, and dwelt there, the people of India (for that reason) called them Patáns—but God knows! When the peace between the Raja of Lahore and the infidel Gakkhars ended in war, the Gakkhars formed an alliance with their neighbours the Afghans against the Samanians..."

"...The Afghans erected a fort in the Kohistan (mountains) of Peshawar, which they called Khaibar; and they took possession of the country of Roh. During the ascendancy of the Samanians, these (Afghans and Gakkhars) prevented them from doing any injury to the territories of Lahore.This is why it was that the incursions of the Samanians from first to last were made by way of Sind and Bhatiya. Roh is the name of a particular mountain, which extends in length from Swad and Bajaur to the town of Siwi, ..."

He is as well referring to the territories south of Kabulistan and north of Kandahar in the area of Ghazna that were inhabited by nomadic Khilijs (Ghilzais) (Kuchis) who travelling from Sindh to Khorasan and from Khorasan to Sindh (today: Pakistan) (Khilijs are called as well as "Afghans" by Babur). The places or areas they settle are called Afghanistan, too."

See also

*List of country name etymologies


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