Pakhtoonwali is an unwritten democratic, socio-political culture, law and ideology of the Pakhtoon society inherited from their forefathers and carried on to the present generation, it is a dominant force of Pakhtoon culture and identity.
Pakhtoonwali is basically conservative but radical, apparently dictatorial while naturally democratic centuries old, but still a young phenomenon in the Pakhtoon culture and socio-economic structure.
Pakhtoon society, by the virtue of Pakhtoonwali, went straight to the feudal social structure without experiencing an era of slavery.
Pakhtana have preserved their culture in the course of a long history up to the present capitalistic socio-economic structure. And Pakhtoonwali has been able to maintain a powerful dialectical balance of the Pakhtoon society 1.
Pakhtoonwali as a complement of the Pakhtoon society, for its perfection and reform, has undergone carious legal, political, economic and cultural changes in rules and regulation and has developed into an accepted comprehensive constitution. Pakhtoonwali consists of qualifications such as Khpelwaki (self authority), Sialy (Equality), Jirga (Assemble), Roogha (reconciliation or compromise), Badal (revenge), Barabary (equivalence), Teega/Nerkh (Law), Arbakai (messengers) Aziz/Azizwale (clan, clanship), Terbor/Terborwali (cousin and tribal rivalries), Nang (competence), Gairat (enthusiasm), Ooga Warkawel (giving lift to persons in need), Pannah Warkawel (Offering asylum), Ashar (shared co-operative work), Zhemana (Commitment), Melater (patrons), Chagha (Call for action), Soola (truce) and other.
Pakhtoonwali is a democratic structure emphasizing of Jirga, Sialy and Barabary. It is a defensive system in terms of Jirga, Chagha and Arbakai. It is a legal system in terms of Jirga, Teega/Nerkh, Pannah and Roogha. This system has managed all social and internal affairs of the Pakhtoon society before and after Islam. It has created small and large local governments in Central and South Asia.
All the Pakhtana social structures are undergoing political processes and are forged into certain socio-economic evolutionary shapes. The 8 centuries’ perpetual Pakhtoon nationalism animated a political central government for the first time in the 12 th century and then established a strong centralized government in the mid 18 th century.
All small and large tribes and ethnic groups participated in the reform and improvement of the government administration and in its various economic, social and cultural aspects. With the strengthening of relations among these ethnic groups in socio-economic affairs, Pakhtoon nationalism was transformed into Afghan nationalism.
Afghan nationalism is in fact a 20 th century phenomenon of political power in the form of a centralized state government, Sequentially, Pakhtoonwali is the first foundation stone, Pakhtoon nationalism is second and afghan nationalism is the third and evolutionary phase of political structure, state and nation formation. Pakhtoonwali has a history of several thousand years while Pakhtoon nationalism is only a few hundred years old afghan nationalism is a product of the contemporary 20 th century history.
Islam reached this part of the world in the 7 th century and Pakhtana accepted it as part of their faith and socio-economic culture by the 11 th century 2. Islamic fundamentalism however appeared to influence people’s mentality only after 1964 and practically after 1978. It concentrated the efforts towards a deliberate struggle for taking over political power in the country. The fundamentalists grasped the political power in 1992 and then vandalized the existing government framework of decades old afghan nationalism.