The Pathan people (also known as the Pasthun) is an ethnic group of around 50 million living scattered across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and also Iran and India.

Wikipedia explains:

There are many conflicting theories about the origin of Pashtuns, some modern and others archaic, both among historians and the Pashtuns themselves. According to most historians and experts, the true origin of the Pashtuns is some what unclear.[

However, there is also a claim that they could be one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Experts at Mumbai's National Institute of Immunohaematology believe Pashtuns could be one of the ten "Lost Tribes of Israel".

Source Daily Telegraph

Until now the supposed link between Pathans and Jews has only been discussed on the fringes of the academic and anthropological worlds. But now Shahnaz Ali, an Indian researcher from the National Institute of Immunohaematology in Mumbai has received a grant from Israel to test the theory with DNA samples she collected from Pathans in India. She will conduct her research at the prestigious Technion Institute in Haifa.

Source ABC News

The purported Jewish origins of the Afridis is well documented in medieval texts. "The tribe was driven into exile and eventually into oblivion by the Assyrians in 721 BC. Great Jewish writers like the 10th century Saadia Ga'on and the 11th century Moses ibn Ezra mention Afghanistan and the Pathan territories in Pakistan as the home of Jews descending from the Lost Tribes," Aafreedi says. "And the second President of Israel, Itzhak Ben-Zvi, a Lost Tribes enthusiast, wrote in great detail about the Israelite descent of the Afridi Pathans in his book The Exiled and the Redeemed in 1957."

Source: Blog about Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi research

Note: Afridi is a tribe among pathans and they are linked to Ephraim tribe.

This video also claims that Pathan are actually Jews.

Some claim that Pathans are the lost tribes of Israelites, e.g. this book and this documentary.

Some claim that Pathans have similar customs to Jews.

  • 2
    For curious, Talibans are for most part comprise of Pathans so they could have Jewish origin!
    – TheTechGuy
    Commented Feb 8, 2012 at 13:10
  • 1
    No records were kept after the exile of 722BC, precisely because the point of the Assyrians was to annihilate all traces of vanquished cultures. Many peoples claim to be "Lost tribes" of Israel (Ugandans, Ethiopians, and even some very Southern African tribes who claim to have been shown to have Hebrew DNa) but no claims can ever be verified because the records were intentionally never kept. Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 4:19
  • 3
    Warning: The Pashtun people can be defined according to a number of criteria (see the Wikipedia page). The Jewish people can be similarly defined. I (along with others, including Richard Dawkins) have a low tolerance for indiscriminately ascribing belief systems to all members of a ethnic or national (rather than religious) group. If you are going to argue that some Muslims are Jews, please be explicit with your definitions to avoid (or at least reduce!) offence.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 9:35
  • 1
    @Oddthinking,I don't know what the original question was, I just read the Q now. In any way, cultural heritage can give an idea of the biological heritage. For example, if the tribe has practices similar to Jewish practices like observing the Sabbath or not eating meat and dairy, while no other tribe in the area has them may show Jewish roots. So cultural examination together with other proofs may provide an answer to the question.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 17:45
  • 2
    But, The deportation of the "lost tribes" happened at 721 BC and the first claims of a relation between the two start popping up only almost 2000 years later, which is a very long time and we have no documentation of the survival of the 10 lost tribes. So they chances that the Pashtun have relation to them, or that the tribes didn't complitly assimilated with the other Asyrian people is slim to none.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Apr 15, 2012 at 17:49


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