This map shows ethnolinguistic groups across Afghanistan and Pakistan. This map is part of a high school human geography lesson, The Geography of Afghanistan, developed by Brown University for The Choices Program. 

  1. Sometimes, political borders do not match up with cultural boundaries. Where do you see cultural boundaries intersecting a political border on this map? How do you think these differences between cultural and political borders developed?

  2. How can the intersection of cultural and political borders lead to conflict between groups?

  3. Where else have political boundaries led to conflict?

artificial state
Noun

government or nation (state) whose borders do not reflect ethnic divisions or the desires of its peoples.

Noun

natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.

Noun

line separating geographical areas.

colony
Noun

people and land separated by distance or culture from the government that controls them.

disenfranchise
Verb

to take away certain rights, usually voting.

displacement
Noun

forced removal of something, often people or organisms, from their communities or original space.

Durand Line
Noun

border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

emir
Noun

leader of a Muslim region or state. Also called amir.

ethnic group
Adjective

people sharing genetic characteristics, culture, language, religion or history.

linguistics
Noun

study of language.

marginalize
Verb

to reduce the significance or importance of something.

Pashtunistan
Noun

region along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

physical features
Noun

naturally occurring geographic characteristics.

Raj
Noun

British government rule in India, prior to Indian independence in 1947.

sphere of influence
Noun

area or region where a nation or cultural group has cultural, economic, military, or political influence.

surveyor
Noun

person who analyzes the specific boundaries and features of a piece of land using mathematical concepts such as geometry.

tribe
Noun

community made of one or several family groups sharing a common culture.