Why One Of The Oldest Pakistani American Communities Is In Wyoming

Kaptaan

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Nation of origin
Pakistan
Wow,1907.
Yes, it's amazing. I am almost certain these people are from my neck of woods in Pakistan - Attock/Swabi/Hazara region. This is a area where Khyber Pakhtunkwa Provinces sort of merges with Punjab Potohar region where the capital Islamabad is. The ethnic mix is Pakhtun/Pasahtun, Hindko and Kohistani's. This region has long history of migration as the hilly land struggled to provide a living to growing population.

Traditionaly the term 'Afghan' mean't the ethnic group today called Pakhtun/Pashtuns, however today it presents a problem because it has become branded name of the nation state called Afghanistan. There are twice as many Pashtuns in Pakistan then in Afghanistan where other groups like Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Hazara, Nuristani etc make 52%.

But as I said in the past 'Afghan' mean't exclusively the ethnic group Pakhtun/Pashtuns. Back in late 1890s and early 1900's many people from my region and Balochistan went to Austalia and soon cornered the transporting business in the vast outback using camel trains. The Australians called these migrants from North West Pakistan and Balochistan 'Ghans' which was short of 'Afghans'. Keep in mind what that term mean't in those days.

In Australia in honour of those brave men from what is now Pakistan they have rail service called 'Ghan Express'.

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One good example of such was Dost Mahomet whose family had settled in arachi before migrating to Australia. He led a choatic, toug life and became quite wealthy.



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