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Pukhtun Code of Life

Pukhtuns inhabit the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan as a major ethnic group of the populace. Most parts of the land they occupy remained independent, and without a centralized government of its own for most of its known history. It is due to the geographical nature of the land, being mostly hilly, that it is not easily accessible and it is difficult to maintain a hold and firm control over it, in the absence of advanced means of communication and other required things, which were not found in the earlier times. Then question arises that in the absence of a centralized authority, control and formal government and governmental machinery, what regulated and ruled the lives and actions of the Pukhtuns; and what maintained peace and ensured security in their tribal and semi cephalous society. The answer, however, is not difficult to find.
Despite the fact that the society remained tribal and individualistic to some extent, the lives and actions of the people had been regulated and ruled by unwritten but well-defined and well-known customs, norms, codes and rules called Pukhtu also written as Pashto and Pakhtu, which is also the name of the language of the people. It is a commonly known saying that Pukhtu is not only a language but is also the code, which governs the lives of those who speak it.-The term 'Pukhtunwali' is also used for 'Pukhtu'. To an outsider and a casual observer the society might have seemed disorderly, but it was, in fact, a well knit and regulated one.

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