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Pashtun society consists of many tribes and clans which were not
politically united until the rise of the Hotaki followed by Durrani
Empire in the early-18th century. Pashtuns played a vital role
during the Great Game from the 19th century to the 20th century as
they were caught between the imperialist designs of the British and
Russian empires. For over 300 years, they reigned as the dominant
ethnic group in Afghanistan with nearly every ruler being a Pashtun.
More recently, the Pashtuns gained worldwide attention during the
1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and with the rise and fall of the
Taliban, since they are the main ethnic contingent in the movement.
Pashtuns are also an important community in Pakistan, where they
have attained the presidency, high positions in the military, and
are the second-largest ethnic group.
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