Aryans of Pakistan

Many Pakistani history writers when discussing the pre-history of Pakistan, mention the Aryans as just one of the invaders alongside the Persians, the Greeks or the Mongols etc.

What they don’t realize is that the situation of the Aryans was very different than that of the Persians, Arabs or others, for the Aryans are the ancestors of most modern-day Pakistanis, most likely alongside the native peoples of the Indus Valley.

Aryan does not necessarily mean a white-skinned person with a Caucasoid skull, but rather a person of wise or noble descent. The word has it’s roots in the Sanskrit word Aryaa meaning wise or noble.

Though I’m not entirely sure, I was reading on a forum that the literal meaning of Aarya was one who is ahead; hence more advanced.
This theory makes sense to me, as I’ve found words in Indo-European languages which contain the sound ‘A’ at the beginning of words which indicate a forward direction.

For example the Urdo word (oficial language of Pakistan) for front ‘aagay’ or words in English such as ‘ahead’ ‘again’ (again indicating repeated cycles).
Even the word heir (pronounced Aa-yer) meaning a successor might be connected to ‘Aryan’ or ‘Aarya, maybe having it’s roots in an expression of after or beyond.

Though it’s not a proven fact, it’s a strong theory. Already, the connection between most Pakistani and European languages is proven, thus pointing to the fact that most Pakistanis and Europeans do have common ancestry at least on Y-Chromosome lines:
We are all the Aryans – and Pakistanis are Aryans of Pakistan.

The Aryans who started arriving in today Pakistan around the seventeenth century BC were the most significant invaders, being our ancestors and bringing with them the language which became most of Pakistan’s main languages.

The other invaders were not as significant since they did not leave many decedents. If one is to search haplogroup maps on Pakistan, there is not much Semitic, Mediterranean or Turanian markers in the Pakistani population.

Pakistanis are the decedents of the Aryan invaders combined with the native population of the Indus Valley; though it is not clear who the Indus Valley peoples were (Dravidian peoples).
There might have been other populations passing through, could have been a multi-ethnic society, but there are too many unsolved mysteries about what Pakistan was like before the Aryan invasion of the region.

The falisfied myths of Greek and Macedonian roots in Northern Pakistani populations

The Kalash and Hunza are amongst the fairest people in Pakistan. Even their hair and eyes can be blond, red with blue or green eyes.
And because of their remote location, many of them still follow non-Muslim cults and spiritualities such as those derived from ancient Indo-European paganism and Shamanism.
Other spiritualities have died out or have been embedded into Islam, such as Sufism.

Physical appearance evidence:
Because of their fair features and some of them retaining non-Muslim practices, many myths of their alleged ‘Greek’ ‘Macedonian’ ancestry have arisen.
This myth may have started out as far back as the British Raj, but forgotten and later revived perhaps as recently as the mid 90s by missionaries from Greece and Macedonia.

Many recent documentaries and articles are made by Greek and Macedonian missionaries who go and pressure the Kalash and Hunza to accept descent from Alexander and his army.
They also offer financial aid in return for accepting the theories of these missionaries.

At other times, they manipulate these populations (sometimes even the Pakhtuns) into believing they are of Alexander’s army. Part of this is due to the struggle between Greece and the modern country of “Macedonia” (better known as republic of Macedonia) to claim Alexander The Great as one of them.

And as already mentioned, because the Kalash and Hunza have certain traits different from the rest of modern Pakistan, these have been used as a claim to declare them as ‘Greeks’ or ‘Macedonians.’

White features (light skin, hair, eyes etc.) are not a trait uncommon in Pakistan.
There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people with white skin and features similar to Mediterranean peoples and some to central and Northern Europeans.
What is now uncommon, especially in modern times is Nordic features in Pakistan.

On the subject of of skin and hair colors, it should be noted that most Greek people have much darker hair and sometimes darker skin than the Kalash and Hunza.
In fact, many people from central and western Pakistan can be compared in hair and skin color to Greeks.

Kalash:

Though many or most Kalash may look Mediterranean (unlike the pictures above) the reason behind that might be absorbing genes from other darker-skinned populations in the regions.
Percentage wise, I would say the Kalash still have whiter-skinned and lighter-haired people than Greeks, especially pure unmixed Kalash.

I would say the same in the case of the Hunza. Take another example of this Greek man and compare him to some fairer Hunza.:

Evidence of religion/spirituality:
Moving on to the religious past, most Pakistanis are blind to the history and practices of their ancient ancestors; hence they are often prone to Hindutva propaganda, which speaks of a ‘religion’ called “Hinduism” being practiced in Pakistan prior to Islam.

The blindness of Pakistanis to the history of their ancient ancestors is amplified by Wahhabi Islamists who teach them that their ancestors were victims of a caste system and practiced barbaric traditions.
Actually the reality is far from the teachings of the Islamists.

The people of Pakistan, being primarily of Indo-European (IE) descent had ancestors who practiced various related IE cults and religions.
The same is the case for modern Europeans who have common ancestry with the people of Pakistan, especially Northern Pakistanis, who live in remote, mountainous locations and have absorbed much less non-Indo-European genes.

These common ancestors of Pakistanis and Europeans were called the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
A fact to note is that not all people who speak an IE language are descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

The early IE people lived sometime around the fifth or sixth millennium BC. They had many pagan gods and symbols in their paganist cults/religions. To understand them better, readers should research ancient Indo-European culture, spirituality and mythology.

Some good resources for these are internet sites such as this or books such as Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture.

After centuries of IE migration and the rise of major world religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam etc, the various related spiritualities of the IE people, began to die out to these major world religions.

However, traces of these spiritualities and mythologies can still be found in various IE ethnic groups, which can be very similar to each other, establishing another common connection between IE peoples besides language.

Take for example the Greek sun pictured below:

Now compare it to the sun on the flag used by the Kurdish people:

As readers can see, these symbols are used by two peoples (Greeks and Kurds), both speaking IE languages.
The strong resemblance is not a coincidence as the two suns have a common source in IE mythology and culture.

In the case of the Kalash, their IE religion did not die out to Islam or any other due to their extremely remote location.
Anthropological and historical material claims their religion/cult to be a direct off-shoot of the original IE religion(s).
Because most of the people of Pakistan no longer practice IE culture or spirituality, some Greeks and Macedonians have tried to claim the Kalash peoples as their own.

Their methods seem to be by pointing to the common IE culture and spirituality of the Kalash to Greece and Macedonia’s pre-Christian IE cultural and spiritual traits.
By this reasoning, the Greeks and Macedonians can also claim other IE practices and cultural traits to be from Alexander’s armies.

Take for example Celtic culture or Zoroastrian culture.
Look at the sun in this Zoroastrian depiction below:

Does it not look similar to the Greek sun pictured further up in this post? Can Greeks and Macedonians now claim the Zoroastrian peoples in the region to be Alexanders descendants?

Or even the Kurds. Can the Kurds be claimed to be Alexander’s descendants based on the common sun symbol between the Greeks/Macedonians and them?

The point I’m trying to make is that the culture and religion of the Kalash does not resemble pre-Christian Greek or Macedonian culture because the Kalash are an ‘off-shoot’ of Alexander’s army, but due to a common origin between the cultures of pre-Christian/Muslim/Buddhist etc. Cultures and religions of IE peoples- including the pre-Islamic ancestors of most Pakistanis.

Linguistic evidence:
Greek and Macedonian are both IE languages. Greek is an isolated language in the IE family belonging to the Centum sect, while Macedonian is a Slavic language belonging to the Satem sect.

The language of the Kalash on the other hand belongs to the Dardic branch of IE. Linguists sometimes place Dardic as part of Indo-Aryan, but a distinct form of Indo-Aryan or “Northern Indo-Aryan.”

To claim the Kalash as one of theirs, Greeks and Macedonians would have to explain how a Greek/Slavic speaking people, switched to Dardic. Some would possibly argue it is due to being surrounded by Dardic speaking populations.

Though I might be wrong, language shift usually leaves traces of the previous language of an ethnic group in the new language they have adopted.

Outside of a common proto-Indo-European source (PIE), can any traces of Slavic or Greek words be found in Kalasha? If so is it possible other Dardic languages such as Kashmiri or any other carry this?

Also on the subject of linguistics, why are the languages of the Chitral valley (home of the Kalash) not written in Greek script or any script for that matter?
Their isolated position has protected their culture and spirituality, so surely their alleged “Greek” script could have been protected as well.

Even if not used in regular communication, why can’t any Greek writing be used on their cultural items or tools used in regular life?

Genetic evidence:
According to sources, Haplogroup J2 is found primarily amongst Mediterranean populations, regardless of the linguistic diversity in that region.

Also according to this source, (don’t know how reliable) certain subclades of haplogroup J2 coincide with historic records of Greek colonization worldwide.

This makes sense. Since Pakistanis are predominantly members of haplogroup R1, a subclade of Haplogroup R.

The only significant J2 markers found in Pakistan are in Pakhtunkhwa/NWFP,Punjab and parts of Sindh. This directly coincides with Greek colonization of Pakistan.

Even a Bangladeshi gentlemen, who is an associate of mine is part Pakhtun. I’ve come across many Bangladeshis who are part Pakhtun including one person in my paternal family who has Pakhtun and Bengali roots from his mothers side.
That being mentioned, this associate of mine claims to have Greek ancestry from his Pakhtun side of the family- again coinciding with sources of Greek influence in the Pakhtun population.

Had the Kalash or other Northern Pakistanis been of Greek descent, more significant markers of haplogroup J2 would have been found in Northern Pakistan instead of being limited to mostly Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

Other evidence:
According to this site, Alexander the Great himself described light-skinned people in the Chitral Valley.
In the linked site, there is also a claim that Alexander encountered wooden boxes used by these peoples as coffins, which Alexander and his army used to burn wood.

This statement is also found in the book Empires of the Indus by Alice Albinia.
It states under a picture of these coffins that Alexander and his men found them and burned them for fire. This is possibly due to the fact that Northern Pakistan has cold climates even during the summer (I myself have been there in the summer and experienced the cold nights) because of the high altitude.

The Kalash are known to place their dead in wooden coffins which are then placed in the mountains.
This fact is also mentioned in Alice Albinia’s book.

Alexander finding these wooden coffins and making a clear mention of them is more evidence of the Kalash and possibly other Dardic peoples already being in this region much before his arrival. Historians and anthropologists estimate the first Aryan invasions in the subcontinent happened around 1700 to 1500 BC, well over a thousand years before Alexander’s invasion which took place in the third century BC.

Concealing their dead in a wooden coffins might be a tradition the Kalash also inherited from Proto-Indo-European/“Kurgan culture” though I can’t be certain until I further research this tradition.

Additional evidence going against the “Alexander’s descendants” theory are the lack of Greek/Macedonian artifacts found in the culture of the Kalash. Take for example this coin pictured below followed by a head bust. Both were supposedly used during the Gandharran civilization following Alexander’s conquest:

To all my knowledge, no such artifacts or inscriptions are found in the cultural objects of the Kalash.
No known inscriptions of Greek heroes on their pottery or Greek gods in their places of worship.

Readers reading this post will have noticed that I have not made much mention of the Hunza.
The reason is because there is even little the Greeks or Macedonians can provide for their supposed ‘connection’ to the Hunza especially on linguistic grounds.
The language of the Hunza, Burushaski is a language isolate and bears no known genetic relationship to any language family on Earth.
In fact, most of Pakistan’s languages which are Indo-European have much more in common with Greek and Macedonian than they do with Burushaski.

Even DNA tests carried out in 2008 show no link between the Hunza and the Macedonians. The origins of the Hunza is mysterious and no written records of their language exist. Some Tibetan sources speak of this language, but written in local Tibetan languages.

The proposed Na-Dene Caucasian family had included the Burushaski language as one of it’s members. But according to some websites, further research excludes this language from the proposed family.

Most Greek and Macedonian claims over these people would not be taken seriously, especially based on the facts I have posted above. And even if they were taken seriously, questions would then later slowly arise on the validity of these claims.

Some last notes:
I would like to apologize to any Greeks and Macedonians reading this post. I understand that not all people from Greece and Macedonia claim Northern Pakistani populations as Alexander’s descendants.

It’s also a noticeable fact that many peoples in Pakistan and third world countries like to claim ancestries which has little or nothing to do with them.
Such as Pakistanis claiming Arab or Mughal ancestry with little evidence on the basis of feeling “more Muslim.”

Other people do it sometimes manipulated to do so such as some Kashmiris, Pakhtuns and Balochis claiming Jewish or other Semitic ancestries, which shall be discussed in another post.

There are even others sometimes paid to speak in favor of accepting a foreign nation’s claim over their ethnicity.
Knowing the poverty in Pakistan, it should hardly be surprising that some individuals would accept bribes into accepting these claims.

The best way to counter such claims is with counter claims backed by evidence and facts. The truth and knowledge are the most powerful tools in winning arguments. Always.

Are Indians and Pakistanis the same people?

We often do hear Indians and some of their Pakistani pawns chanting that Indians and Pakistanis are the same people and there’s absolutely no difference between the two.
Some go as far to say that the people of the subcontinent are all “the same” divided by political boundaries.

People who normally chant this draw out ignorant statements or try to convince everyone by chanting the same statement over and over again to the point that people stop questioning it.
I want to touch on the most common arguments that have been made in favor of this idea.

Appearance:
This argument is that Indians and Pakistanis are often mistaken for the same by outsiders and that’s ‘proof’ of their ‘common origin.’ But then again Pakistanis are often lumped up with Arabs and other Middle Eastern peoples. When I moved to North America, people took me for an Arab. Does that make me an Arab? Does it mean Pakistanis have common origins with Arabs?

The same can be said for Indians. What’s more is only a small minority of people living in Northwestern India resemble Pakistanis when it comes to appearance. Other Indians sometimes look like exact opposites of Northern Pakistanis in terms of appearance. Northern Pakistanis are often tall, of fair complexion resembling Europeans while people from other parts of India often show East Asian or Australoid features with dark skin.

Also, there are “Indians” who are actually people who migrated from Pakistan during independence in 1947 and share common genetics, culture, linguistics with the rest of Pakistan, not with their adopted country.

Demographics:
Another common argument is that due to the shared provinces of Punjab and Kashmir, the two populations are ‘the same.’
One problem is that Kashmir is not recognized as an “Indian state” by Pakistan or the United Nations. It is currently disputed territory, though often seen as the fifth province of Pakistan. Only India sees Kashmir as an Indian state.

Neither do the people belong to the common North Indian hapologroup of R2 and it’s possible subclades.
In fact Kashmiris are amongst the highest carriers of R1A in Asia, lumping them closer to Eastern European populations than Indian ones.

The other problem is that it is only Punjab that is split between India and Pakistan. The other provinces and populations are not shared by India and Pakistan. Even the populations in these unshared provinces between the two countries are completely distinct.

Balochis, Pakhtuns, Sindhis, Kashmiris and other populations of Pakistan are completely different from Indian populations and are not found in India except for some who migrated.
Pakistan also shares some of these mentioned ethnicities with Iran and Afghanistan, yet few have argued in favor of lumping Iran or Afghanistan with Pakistan.

Even the various populations of India have little in common with Pakistani populations.
India itself is so diverse that even the existence of a single “Indian” culture, language or people is not there. India can be compared to the former USSR, while Pakistan can be better compared to Yugoslavia or Switzerland, a home of various distinct, but related cultures and peoples.

Linguistics:
Some shared languages between the two countries especially Hindustani (mostly today called Hindi and Urdu) which is the lingua franca of the subcontinent is used as a basis to argue the “oneness” of Indians and Pakistanis.

Many countries share common languages for various reasons. The Hindustani language developed due to Mughal rulers of the subcontinent who were neither Indian nor Pakistani by origin.
Other shared languages such as Sindhi are due to migration between the two countries.

English is another language often used as a language of business in the two countries and also a legacy of British rule. Does this make the two peoples “one?”
Iran and Iraq have shared languages and demographics of Kurdish, Arab and Turkic populations. No one bothers to term them “one.”

Most languages spoken in India are not spoken or understood in Pakistan and vice versa. Most of Pakistan’s languages except for Brahui, Burusho and Balistani are of Indo-European origins.

India’s languages on the other hand are around seventy percent Indo-European and the other thirty percent being Dravidian, Sindo-Tibetian, Austro-Asiatic and some other language isolates.

Genetics:
This is probably the strongest argument debunking Pan-South Asian propaganda. Most often, cheerleaders of Indo-Pakistani “commonality” do not wish to back up their claims with evidence and will rely only on repeating their statements to win agreement.

If one is to search the distributions of haplogroups in the two countries, there is little in common. Even the common Indo-European haplogroup R found in Pakistanis and Northwestern Indians breaks into haplogroup R1A and R2 (sometimes also refereed to as R1B2).
This places Pakistani populations; especially Northern Pakistanis into closer genetic lineages with Eastern European populations than to Indian ones.

Also knowing the fair appearance of Northern Pakistanis and their Indo-European languages, this should hardly be surprising.

It is not just the differing distributions of haplogroup R but also various other haplogroups common to India but not to Pakistan. Some Indian haplogroups are not even found in Pakistan.

The haplogroup maps below give us a brief insight: (click to enlarge)

The Hunza of Pakistan and proto-Balkan-Caucasian peoples

In the past two years I had been reading many theories about the existence of a proposed family of Dene’-Caucasian languages.
Many theories of Proto-Caucasian (Caucasian as in people of the Caucasus peoples and languages being spoken across Europe prior to the Indo-European migration which is believed to have occurred sometime during the fourth millennium BC onwards.

Prior to this time period in human history, little has been known about Europe until new research emerged about the possibility of Proto-Caucasian languages being amongst the many diverse language families spoken in the region of which may have been survived by Basque.

Many recent hypothesis suggest Proto-Caucasians languages and peoples populating areas of Europe. Certain linguistic theories have also linked the Burushaski language of hypothetical Caucasian families that also include Basque.
These hypothesis, though not proven lead me to a theory of my own. Despite lack of genetic evidence to support it and being doubtful of genetic results since most DNA tests on the Hunza populations seem show them to be related to the rest of Pakistan. I theorized that for the Basque and other extinct Caucasian languages to be spoken in Europe, a mass set of migrations must have taken place.

Thousands of years before the rise of the ancient Indo-Europeans, Proto-Caucasian tribes left their original homeland and moved westward and possibly southward since there are theories that the Sumerian language may be related to modern Caucasian languages.

But amongst these proto-Caucasian migrations, a tribe or small set of tribes somehow ended up moving eastward. There are many cases of small populations migrating in opposite directions of the larger family, such as the case of the Tocharians who are said to be a Proto-Celtic tribe ending up in the Chinese desert instead of going along with the rest of the Indo-European migration.

If an established link is found between Basque and modern Caucasian languages as well as Burushaski and Ibero-Caucasian, then my theory is that the Hunza were a lost ancient Proto-Caucasian tribe that settled in Pakistan many hundred perhaps thousands of years prior to Indo-European domination in most of Eurasia.

Perhaps the Hunza are not descendants of these people as per most of the genetic evidence, but the language they speak may have come through a Proto-Balkan-Caucasian tribe that settled in Pakistan.

The Hunza are amongst the fairest people in Pakistan and bear a closer physical resemblance to Caucasian and European populations than to most Pakistani populations despite being closely related genetically; hence they might not be related to the people of the Caucasus genetically, but rather a people who inherited a Proto-Caucasian language due to nomadic settlements.

Or the alternate scenario could be that the Proto-Caucasians are the ancestors of the Hunza and absorbed outside genes as race mixing occurred.

Random migrations in ancient times may have led these Caucasians to enter the Indus Valley many thousands of years ago.
Only further research will reveal what the world was like prior to massive expansions and dominance of the speakers of many language families today, primarily Altaic and Indo-European.

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3 Responses to Aryans of Pakistan

  1. Detailed and very interesting analysis 🙂
    I wanted to add that my grandparents (from both sides) migrated (like several others), approximately 70 years ago from Patna, (Bihar – Eastern India) … In continuation, I was give the family name beginning with “Syed” – a title accepted for descendants of Muhammad (through his grandsons). Since, Muhammad was an Arab, this leaves me with a possibility of having some Arab descent, at least from the father’s side. God knows how much of it is true … doesn’t matter though, because at the end of the day, we are all humans 🙂

  2. I hate the fact that the Aryans of middle east are being overwhelmingly converted to islam by force, like the poor Nuristanis, We in europe also passed through this by forced conversion to christianity, but recently there has been a revival of paganism in the western world, like Asatru and Rodnovery, I hope the peoples that still keep their original Aryan faith don’t accept forced conversion

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