In Pakistan Pashto is spoken in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (previously known as Northwestern Frontier) province in the districts of Peshawar, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan also in the territories of Swat, Buner, and Bajaur. This eastern Iranian language is also spoken in northern Balochistan in Quetta-Pashin, the Loralai, Zhob and Sibi areas while in the Punjab it is still spoken in the border areas of Mianwali and Attock. The whole tribal area between Pakistan and Afghanistan is Pashto territory. The Pashto speakers also live in Southern port city, Karachi in a good number.
Pashto is also widely spoken in neighboring country of Afghanistan particularly in the Eastern, the Southern and the Southwestern provinces. The entire eastern province, southern province and capital city of Kabul as well as Kandahar are also Pashto speaking areas.
The population of Pashto speaking people is hard to count due to many reasons. Afghanistan is passing through a three-decade-long civil war allowing not conducting any census on the ground while the same also could not take place in Pakistan since 1998. According to a very well Pashtoon author, Dr. Khadim Hussain who heads Bacha Khan Education Trust in Peshawar, the total number of Pashto speakers in Pakistan was around 25 million. While talking to FLI he referred to a recently published book “The Pashtoon Question” authored by Abubakar he said the author had got firsthand information through his long and comprehensive survey.