Pashtunistan (Pashto: پښتونستان), Pakhtunistan or Pathanistan, meaning "land of the Pakhtuns/Pathans" is the region inhabited by the Pakhtuns (Pathans) since ancient times.
Origin of term
The name Pakhtunistan (Pushtu: پښتونستان (Naskh)), or in the soft Pashtu dialect, Pashtunistan, evolved originally from the Indian word "Pathanistan" (Hindustani: پٹھانستان (Nastaleeq), पठानिस्तान (Devanagari)). The very concept of Pashtunistan was taken from the old word "Pakhtunkhwa." Like other Hindustani terms, "Pathanistan" entered the Pashto lexicon. The British Indian leaders and even the Khudai Khidmatgars started using the word "Pathanistan" to refer to the region, and later on the word "Pashtunistan" became more popular.
- Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 2009-06-07. “Ghaffar Khan, who had oppsed the partition, chose to live in Pakistan, where he continued to fight for the rights of the Pakhtun minority and for an autonomous Pakhtunistan (or Pathanistan) within Pakistan.”
- Pashtu Literature Part II. Pashtoonkhwa. Retrieved on 2009-06-07. “The name Pakhtunistan or in soft Pashtu dialect Pashtunistan evolved originally from the Indian word Pathanistan. The very concept of Pakhtunistan was taken from the old word Pakhtunkhwa. The British, Indian leaders and even the Khudai- Khidmatgars were using Pathanistan for Pakhtunistan in the beginning, but later on they started using the word Pakhtunistan.”
- The Problem of Pukhtunistan. Khyber Gateway. Retrieved on 2009-06-07. “The word Pathanistan is not Persian but Indian. It shows that the Khalifa had already acquired the consent of the Muslim leaders of India or these leaders might have motivated the Khalifa to first liberate the Pukhtuns' land (Pathanistan) to build up a strong base against the British Empire in India”
- Census of India, 1931, Volume 17, Part 2. Times of India. Retrieved on 2009-06-07. “At the same time Pashto has borrowed largely from Persian and Hindustani, and through those languages from Arabic.”