The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is populated by a large variety of tribes, sub-tribes, and clans, each with its own network of ties but unified by the collective of being called Pathan or Pashtuns, imbued with the characteristic force of character, bravery, and perspicacious. Over the years, however, the larger towns have become a mix of various other people from the rest of Pakistan, just as many Pathans have migrated to, or work in the larger cities of Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan.The population contains several ethnological sections, representing the deposits formed by different streams of immigration or invasion. Most numerous and important are the Pathans (Pukhtana), the majority of the agricultural population in Peshawar, Kohat and Bannu.
The Pathan's retained their lifestyle over time and generation after generation. Their way of life still maintains the Old-age, time-tested code of behavior known as PukhtunWali. Pathan is not now a racial term. It denotes status and is said in Swat and Dir to describe one who possesses a share in the tribal estate and who has therefore a voice in the village and tribal councils. The Pathan tribes are mainly of Uranian origin, others of Syed (Arabian), and a few possibilities of Turkish. origin.
Next in numerical importance come the Awans mainly in Hazara and the Peshawar valley. The Gujars also live in Hazara. They are also numerous in Dir, Swat, and Bajaur, where they speak Pashtu, through on the borders of Dir and Asmar they retain their Indian speech. Other less numerous tribes are the Jats, mostly in Dera Ismail Khan, Syeds, Tanaolis, Malliars, Dhunds, Balochs, Rajputsm Sheikhs, Kharrals, Mughals, Qureshis, Baghbans, Parachas, Kassabs, and Gakhars. Of Hindu castes, the ArorasKhattris, and Brahmans are important. In Jandol and Maidan are various other tribes of Jafir descent converted to Islam, and now reckoned as Pathans.
Of the artisan classes, the most numerous are the Tarkhans or carpenters, Some of whom were raised under British rule to the status of a professional class as trained engineers next to them in numerical strength are the Julahas (weavers), then come the Lahore (black-smiths). Mochis (leather-workers and shoemakers) Kumhars (potters and brick-burners) Sonars (goldsmiths) And Teelis (oil-pressers).