Language is more than just a mode of communication. It is a way to conserve one’s culture
and pass down history and also provide a gateway for the rest of the world to explore their society. The history behind Farsi
has always been rich and the language has contributed greatly in many areas such as science, literature, philosophy, commerce,
and religion. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Pashto. Very little has been done for the advancement of Pashto
and it does not provide any incentive for non-Pashtuns or any one else for that matter to learn it. Pashto has been left behind
when it comes to languages. It has no culture or legitimate foundation and therefore it is very easy for it to disappear.
In a world that prides itself in progression and improvement, Pashto has remained the language of tribal and illiterate nomads.
Pashto has always been considered a primitive language, originating in the Suleiman Mountains. Currently, it is mostly
spoken in southern Afghanistan and is hardly heard in anywhere else. It has recently become synonymous with the Taliban since
southern Pashtuns made up a large part of the group. In fact, if one wanted an education or be apart of civilization, one
had to be fluent in or at least familiar with Farsi. Pashtuns are also commonly heard calling the non-Pashtuns the immigrants
of Afghanistan. Ironically, they themselves are speaking the language of the so-called immigrants. In America, it is the immigrants
that have to learn the official language of the country, which is English, in order to survive and have a life. It is the
same way in Afghanistan. Those that can not or do not want to learn English in America often have translators and/or live
in ghetto communities surrounding themselves with others like themselves, another commonality among Pashtuns in Afghanistan.
Farsi is the dominant language in the government offices, at official meetings, in the courts, in publications and
on radio and television programs, and especially in areas of education. Pashto speakers often complain that their language
has always been discriminated against. If only they were aware that it is their own people who have been discriminating against
the language and have even gone so far as to damage it as well. The Pota Khazana has single-handedly caused more harm to Pashto
than anything else could have. The fraudulent anthology has been tried to be passed off as an authentic work of literature,
its inventor, Abdul Hay Habibi, claiming that it contains Pashto literature dating as far back as the 7th Century. If Pashto
had existed that far back, it would not be in the position it is today. The language is very limited in words and descriptions.
As Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” This is true in the
case of Pashto.
Pashto has not contributed anything worthwhile to Afghanistan, let alone the world. However, the Pashtuns
force the language onto the public when their own people don’t speak it. Pride keeps them from admitting that Pashto
has no relevance or importance to the country except to the primitive tribes in the south and the Taliban. So great is their
resentment and jealousy that they are putting pressure on officials to include it in the government offices and educational
areas such as in Universities.
One will notice that Pashtuns across the border in Pakistan have dropped their Pashto
and their nomadic lifestyle, adopted one of the major Pakistani cultures and languages. This is another example of how their
own people are damaging their own language. Something must be wrong with the language if its own people won’t work towards
the advancement of it. Though it’s still primary communicated orally, some Pashto literature has been written down and
preserved, although very little of it. The literature that has been written down is mainly focused on ethno-centrism. Whereas
Rumi, Omar Khayyum, and Hafiz do not speak of their ethnicity, most of the Pashto literature that exists today focuses on
their own ethnicity. Khushal Khan Khattak always writes for and about “Pakhtuns.” Khattak has used his poetry
to curse his own people and at the same time, instill a sense of false pride that has not benefited them. No one else in the
world will be able to relate to Pashto literature since it highlights only the small world of Pashtuns.