Pashto (پښتو pax̌tō [ˈpəʂt̪oː, ˈpəçt̪oː, ˈpʊxt̪oː]; alternatively spelled PukhtoPakhto or Pushto), also known historically as Afghani(افغاني afğānī)[7] and Pathani,[8] is the native language of the Pashtun people of SouthCentral Asia. Pashto is a member of theEastern Iranian languages group.[9][10][11] Pashto is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan[4][12][13] (the other being Dari), and is also spoken as a regional language in western and northwestern Pakistan and among the Pashtun diaspora around the world.

Pashto belongs to the Northeastern Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language family,[14][15] although Ethnologue lists it as Southeastern Iranian.[16]

It is spoken by over 16 million people in Afghanistan, over 30 million in Pakistan, and about 50,000 in Iran.[17] Some sources even estimate the number of Pashtuns or Pashto-speakers to be 40–60 million people worldwide.