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Many historians and writers have tried their best to compile books and conduct research in this matter, but very few have been able to find out the truth. According to their research, Pushto is one of the most ancient languages of the world which has been spoken from the Hindukush hills in the south west of Asia to the bank of the River Indus for thousands of years. It is said about the age of this language that it is almost four thousand years old.
Recently, a three thousand year old tapestry has been found in Iran upon which the following words could be recognized:

I am not zealous (na aik yum)
I am not a liar (na darwezan yum)
I am not cruel (na rozkarhay yum)
These words are undoubtedly Pushto words. Apart from this, the historians of pre-Alexandrian Greece, Starbo and Herodotus have also mentioned about this language.
A writer of the history of Afghanistan, Hayat Khan claims that the father of Pushtoons, Qais Abdul Rasheed dwelt at the back of the Ghor hills. As back means 'pusht' in persian, therefore the name of his tribe became Pashtoons.
But the Nawab of Hoti, Sir Akbar Khan, writes in his famous book "The Corrigendum of an Historic Fact" that in 570 BC, the King of Babul Bukht Nasir ordered the two grandsons of Afghana, Armia and Burkhia, to settle the Bin Yamin tribes in his kingdom. Hence they brought their old grandfather to the hills of Herat and started living there. The names of the new dwellings became Bukhto and the dialect or the language of the new dwellers became Bukert to Bukhtee which was later on converted into Pukhto or Pushto.
The late Nawab Sahib explains the word pathan, that originally, it is a word of the Sunskirt language, which the Hindus used for pathans. This nation was also a branch of the race of Hazrat Yaqoob and at the downfall of the jews, migrated to Persia. Later on, the nation became the master of the vast empire from the Indus river to the empire of Rome. From 248 BC to 226 AD. The parthains were of bad character. They always used to kidnap the beautiful girls of Hindus. Hence the hindus called them Pathans which means the kidnappers of girls. As Pushtoons and Parthians both are traced back to Hazrat Yaqoob AS, hence their appearance, dress and habits were also almost the same. That is why when Mehmood Ghaznavi along with other Pushtoons attacked India, the Hindus took them for Parthions and began to call them Pathans.
The famous English writer, Mr. Frizer Tiller writes in his book "The Afghanistan" that the Pushtoons trace back to the Jewish King Malik Talat Shah Israel, which is not true. But unlike Frizer, Khwaja Nazer Ahmad proves in his book "Christ in Heaven on Earth" and Abdul Salim in his book "Nasab Afghana" that Pushtoons trace back to the Jews.
Another English writer, Sirji Rose writes in his famous book "Afghans, the ten tribes and the king of the East" that the Pashtoons are bent upon tracing them back to the jews. The writer of "Mahzan e Afghani" claims that the mother of Pashtoons an the wife of their Forefather, Qais Abdul Rasheed was Sara, the daughter of Khalid Bin Waleed RA. In the ancient times, the land of Pashtoons was called Gandhara. According to Dr. Ahmad Hassan Dani, a renowned archaeologist, around a thousand years ago, there lived a nation on the bank of river Kasul whose main property were their sheep and goats. Hence the name of their land was called Gandhara. Which means the wool of Sheep and goats.
Dr. Dani mentions that Gandhara comprised of the valley of Kasul river. The part of this valley which is situated on the East of the Khyber Pass was very important for the cultural point of view.
The people of this valley were brave, industrious warriors, and the lovers of freedom.

Distinctive tribal customs and traditions also form an integral part of Pathan society. The true essence of their culture can be seen in the "code of ethics" that they live by. This unwritten code is called Pushtunwali ("the way of the Pushtun"), and is close to the heart of every Pathan.

Pushtunwali is followed religiously, and it includes the following practices: MELMASTIA (hospitality and protection to every guest); NANAWATI (the right of a fugitive to seek refuge, and acceptance of his bona fide offer of peace); BADAL (the right of blood feuds or revenge); TURAH (bravery); SABAT (steadfastness); IMANDARI (righteousness); 'ISTEQAMAT (persistence); GHAYRAT (defense of property and honor); and NAMUS (defense of one's women).