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 shrewdness. Over the years, however, the larger towns have become a mix of various other peoples from Afghanistan, Kashmir and the rest of Pakistan, just as many Pathans have migrated to, or work in, the larger towns of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan.The Pathan way of life still maintains the age-old, time-tested code of behavior known as PukhtunWali. Honor, revenge and hospitality are the cardinal principles while the Jirga, or tribal assembly, plays a potent part in the resolution of issues according to Riwaj or tradition.The practices of"Nikkat", "Lungj" and "Moajjab" are still strong, binding and regulatory.
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, while beyond the administrative border they are in exclusive possession from Chitral to the Gomal. In Hazara, Gujars and other tribes of Indian origin dominate, while Dera Ismail Khan is inhabited mainly by Jats.
Pathan is not now a racial term, whatever its original significance may have been. It nowdenotes 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, but many of their sections are affiliated clans of Hindki of indigenous descent, others of Syed (Arabian), and a few possibly 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 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).