Pashtun culture — A way of life based on Islam and Pashtunwali

Pashtun culture

The third-largest provincial economy in Pakistan is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The province produces 20% of Pakistan’s mining output and 10% of the country’s GDP. By generating significant revenue, the province controls the forestry and agricultural sectors of the economy. Additionally, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is renowned for its superb cuisine.

Pashtun culture is based on Islam and Pashtunwali. Pashtunwali is an ancient way of life and around which all the cultural values, ethics, and morality surround. Their ways include speaking Pashtu language and wearing Pashtun dresses.

The Pashtunwali is a unique centuries-old social order that is kept alive and what makes Pashtuns apart; loyal, proud, hospitable, and fiercely independent. In the Pushtu language, the word Pashtu denotes honor, bravery, loyalty, goodness, and dignity.

Pashtun culture has been highlighted since the time of Herodotus that is the time of Alexander the Great who explored the Pakistan and Afghanistan region in 330 BC. The culture of Pashtun people had very little foreign influence over the many centuries and that can be attributed to their strict way of following Pashtunwali. 

Pashtun men wear partug kameez. Karakul hat is their sort of symbol that they wear or in simple words, it is called topi. White kufis is another style of topi. 

Pashtun cuisine is most liked due to their dried fruit and yogurt-based dishes. Qabli pilao is an afghan dish that is specially served in Pashtun areas of Pakistan and Chai plays a great role in Pashtun gatherings. 

Besides celebrating the Islamic festivals and national festivals some Pashtuns also celebrate sparlay or spring that is called Naw-Wraz or Nowruz. Nowruz is the ancient Persian festival which is celebrated at the beginning of spring and it is also the Persian New Year. 

In Pakistan, Pashtuns are predominantly living in the KPK province. Pashto is noted for its poetic language. 

Read More: Punjabi Culture and Traditions – About Pakistan

Pata Khazāna (The Hidden Treasure) is the title of a first known manuscript written in the Pashto language.

Some of the renowned Khyber Paskhtunkhwah’s poets and writers are Khushal Khan Khattak, Nazo Tokhi, Timur Shah Durrani, Amir Kror Suri, rehman baba, shuj shah, ghulam Muhammad tarsi, khan abdul ghani khan, and pir roshan. 

In Pashtun culture, Pashtuns usually attend special live events known as mailas for listening to Pashtu poetry, music and songs. There is a famous Pashtu private channel called AVT Khyber in Pakistan which broadcasts Pashtu programs to the wide Pashtun audience living in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Gulf cities.

Pashto music or ghazals are mostly played with rubab, sitar, table, flute and harmonium, and with some of the other musical instruments too. Pashtuns love to dance attan dance is their main dance. Attan is a special type of dance performed by a troupe of 50 to 100 dancers can be both men and women who wave scarves in the air while musicians beat drums. 

It ends with 2-5 steps clap. Arms are put in a sequential movement and writs twisted in sequence, then hands are projected outwards and brought in a scoop-like fashion to the center and then these hands clap. This dance has the duration of speed that is typically dictated by the musician. 

Federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan, Waziristan is a large area that has a Pashtun culture. A flute player and a drummer play a specific tune and all the wazirs stand around them and two of the people come towards the drummers and dance and come back with the same dancing manner. 

The Best Peshawar Food in Pakistan

• Lamb chops

Dumba Karahi

• Nisar Charsi Tikka

Dum Pukht

Chapli Kabab

Kabuli Pulao




Lamb with Spinach

Mutton Ribs

Best Tourist Spots In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


Chitral is renowned for its beautiful scenery, fruit-laden trees, snow-capped mountains, and verdant pastures.Visit the valley in the summer when cherries, apricots, and pomegranate trees are loaded with fruit if you truly want to make the most of your time in Chitral.

Swat Valley

Swat, also known as East Switzerland, is a stunning valley that has been cut through by the raging waters of the Swat River. There are many resorts right near to the Swat River that provide spectacular sunrise and sunset views.

Naran, Kaghan & Shogran Valley

Kaghan Valley, Naran, and Shogran are all located about 240 kilometers from Islamabad. It offers numerous beautiful tourist destinations, like Siri Paye, a captivating location with lush green meadows set against a mountainous backdrop.
The floating clouds in Siri Paye are unique because they descend to a point where you can literally travel through them. A 9 kilometer drive from Naran in the Mansehra District is Lake Saif-ul-Malook, where visitors may see a reflection of Malika Parbat in the lake. Babusar Top, a mountain pass connecting Thak Nala and Chilas, is another popular site in Naran. It is located 70 kilometers from Naran.

Malam Jabba

Malam Jabba is a lovely valley that serves as a ski resort in the winter. It is located more than 9,000 feet above sea level in the Hindu Kush mountains of the Swat Valley. The location provides some of the best skiing opportunities in the area for both experienced and novice skiers. Skiers enjoy snow tubing, skiing, and skating on top of the snow-covered peak during the winter when the snow is thick and firm. There are 800 meter ski lines and well-kept pistes with varying levels of difficulty for both beginners and experts.

The Malam Jabba skiing season typically runs from January through March and is a top draw for visitors to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


For tourists traveling to the northern regions, including Nathiagali and Naran, etc., Abbottabad functions as a transit city. Abbottabad is not only a stopover; it is also a stunning tourist destination with various attractions, including Harnoi, which is about 11 kilometers from the main city center. It is surrounded by high green mountains, and the city is traversed by cold water streams.

Kumrat Valley

One of the top tourist destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is Kumrat Valley. Tall, deep pine trees, thundering waterfalls, and cool river streams surrounds it. Due to security reasons, Kumrat Valley in Upper Dir has not previously been accessible to tourists. However, the government has worked to promote tourism in historically untapped areas.


Peshawar, the province’s capital, is one of Pakistan’s oldest cities, having been colonized since 539 BC. The inhabitants of Peshawari are friendly by nature, and the streets are constantly bustling with people just wandering around and shopping for goods they like from roadside stands.

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