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Inter Ethnic Relations

Relations between the ethnic groups of Afghanistan have been complex. With so many ethnic groups residing in the same region, tensions are bound to crop up. Pashtuns are the most populated among Afghan tribal groups and more often, the governments in Afghanistan have been Pashtun dominated. These governments tend to side with Pashtuns, giving least regard to the merits of the case. This has caused disallusionment among other tribes.

Zones of ethnic groups overlap and become cause of tensions. Political subjugation leads to resentment which often takes the form of armed conflict. There have been other causes too. The Afghans have dominating feeling of self-pride. Often, this feeling over-stretches itself. Afghans tend to nurture the misgivings for long. Pashtuns find fault with Uzbeks for the deeds done by their forefathers. Rivalry between the Hazaras and the Pashtuns traces itself to the 19th century. So many Afghan ethnic groups distrust the Qizilbash because they sided with the British in Anglo-Afghan wars. Many groups have economic relations, and yet tensions have prevailed between them. The Wakhi and the Kirghiz are interdependent economically. Despite that they have plenty of social tensions.

Various ethnic groups have their own social status. More or less, Pashtuns are the most prestigious ethnic group in Afganistan. Then come Tajiks and Uzbeks, although the order can vary with regions. Lowest in the social ring are the Hazaras and the Gypsies.

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