THERE are, according to some natives, about 100,000 Wakhi-speaking people in the world today. A large number of them lives in Pakistan; mainly in Gilgit-Baltistan's upper Hunza area known as Gojal and Ishkoman valley in Ghizar district. Some Wakhis also live in Chitral district of Pakhtunkhwa province.
Besides their land of origin, Wakhan, occupied by Afghanistan in 1880, Wakhi people also live in Tajikistan and China. With the start of the 21st century, Wakhis started spreading to other countries especially in Europe, America and Australia. And everywhere they share their Eastern Iranian heritage of the Indo-European language.
Some native Wakhis wrongly present themselves as Tajiks... actually they are not! The Wakhis have their own unique identity. Centuries ago, they dispersed from their country of origin, Wakhan, and settled in those areas permanently, which are currently divided among Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Tajikistan. However, linguistically, the Wakhis enjoy their close relationship with the Pamir group of languages, which have been declared Tajiks in China and Tajikistan officially.
In Pakistan, the military establishment, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), hates Tajiks who, in the 1990's, appeared as the main opposition to the ISI-backed Taliban in Afghanistan.
Like the Iranians and Afghans, the Tajiks speak a dialect of Persian and Wakhi language borrows about 60 percent words directly or indirectly from Persian. So, psychologically, the ISI and its lackeys in the Pakistani media love to spread hatred about Tajiks and Persian language (which is also a form of showing the Sunni-dominated establishment's hatred for the Shia-dominated Iran).
That is why when the poor Hazara people, a tiny peaceful Persian-speaking Shia Muslim minority in the terror-hit Balochistan province, are killed brutally, the M3 – military, militants and media – keeps mum as if enjoying the barbarism!
The Wakhis in Gojal were attacked by the ISI in a very planned way this year. The military establishment, through its lackeys, is spreading the rumors of another Great Game, saying that the U.S. has set up a military base in Wakhan... so the patriotism of the Wakhi people is put behind a cloud of doubts! Intellectuals say this is a traditional divide-and-rule strategy of the military establishment in Gilgit-Baltistan since 1947.
"The ISI fears the influence of the Wakhi and Balti people as they are international communities in the Central and South Asian regions," says a local on condition of anonymity. "The world has changed but the Pakistan Army has got stuck in the old dirt!"
Pashto music can improve Af-Pak-US relations!
1- Zil Band - professional touch to Wakhi music in Gilgit-Baltistan
2- Wakhis of China sing during an official event
3- Saltanat & Laili sing Pakistani poet Bulbul's Wakhi song in China
4- Wakhi song - Chinese singers performing in Hunza
5- Tajik singers Farzona & Nigora sing Persian song in Tajikistan
6- Nigor Holova is famous in Iran, Afghanistan, China and Tajikistan
7- Manizza Davlat - Persian song from Tajikistan
8- Cultural Ambassador - Tajik singer Manizza Davlat in Afghanistan
9- Googoosh - Bollywood has benefited from this Iranian classic