The words “Afghan, “Pashtun” and “Pathan” were treated as synonyms in history. Wherever these words occur, that meant people of the same ethnic group.Afghan is the generic word and the basis for the country name, Afghanistan. This group speaks Pashto language, therefore known as Pashtoons. The word Pathan was used for Afghans across the Indus River and throughout present day India. Later, the British also adopted this name, but nobody knows the origin of this word. Many people guessed that it came from the Arabic Batan, or the city of Patna or even the Hindi word Pattha. None of them are based on facts. In modern Afghanistan, the word Afghan means a national of that country and that includes all the ethnic groups living there.