Hindko dialect is a cluster of Punjabi Language subdialects of “Chachi” spoken in Abbotabbad, Mansehra, Haripur and Peshawer districts, “Kohati” spoken in Kohat District and “Jandali” spoken in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sometimes “Ghebi” spoken in Attock District of Punjab is also classified in this cluster but that has great closeness to “shahpuri and dhani” dialect of central punjab. So total number of Hindko dialect speaking districts are six to seven. Hindko ,hindkou, also Hindku, or Hinko, is the sixth main regional language of Pakistan, spoken by Pashtun as well as non-Pashtun people of the province. It forms a subgroup of Indo-Aryan languages, some Pashtun tribes in Pakistan, as well as by the Hindki people of Afghanistan. The word “Hindko” has also been interpreted to mean the language of India, and most probably “Indus” which is the source of etymology for all these words. The term is also found in Greek references to the mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan as (Caucasus Indicus, or Hindu Kush). The language is spoken in the areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (including Hazara), Punjab (including Attock), and Pakistan Administered Kashmir. There is no generic name for these people because they belong to diverse ethnicities and tend to identify themselves by the larger families or castes. However the people of the largest group in the districts of Haripur, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram and Kohistan are sometimes recognised collectively as Hazarawal, named after the defunct Hazara Division that comprised these districts. In Peshawar city they are called Peshawari or “Kharay” by Pashtuns meaning City-dwellers.
Pakistan’s Hindko Muslim speakers
possibly five million people in northern Pakistan are Hindko speakers. This is more than the population of Norway and about the same as Turkmenistan. Made up of several ethnic groups, mostly Pathans and Moghuls, the Hindko are more of a language group than a people group. Hindko speakers make their living as farmers or merchants in the foothills of the Himalayas. Corn and wheat are the most important crops. These grains are ground into flour and used to make a flat bread that accompanies every meal. The people lead very simple lives, but often go to great lengths to secure an education and a better future for their children. Only about 25% of Hindko speakers can read in any language. Compared to their Pashto-speaking relatives, Hindko speakers are know for being gentle and peace-loving. They even tend to be more open-minded than their neighbours. Still, only a handful of Hindko speakers are followers of Jesus. At the same time, economic disparities and political disenfranchisement have led many of these gentle people to seek change through Islamic fundamentalism. The local school system has been largely taken over by fundamentalists which has sometimes even led young men from poor families into terrorist organisations. Looking for Answers The devastating earthquake of October 2003 caused deaths in nearly every Hindko-speaking family. Even today, many are still looking for a new livelihood, permanent housing, and answers to their deeper questions. Interest in reading the New Testament remains high, but the Word of God in Hindko is not yet available in print. Most have never had an opportunity to hear the Gospel