Khowar is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of northern Pakistan. It is also known as Chitrali, after the Chitral region where it is spoken. Khowar has about 438,000 speakers and is one of the few remaining Dardic languages. It is most closely related to Kalasha, another Dardic language spoken in the Chitral region. Khowar is written with a version of the Perso-Arabic alphabet. It is one of the few Pakistani languages with a literary tradition, dating back to the 16th century. Khowar poetry is particularly renowned and has been adapted into Urdu and Punjabi. The Khowar language is under threat from Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. In Chitral, Urdu is the language of education and government, while Khowar is spoken at home. As a result, many Khowar speakers are not fully proficient in their own language and are shifting to Urdu. There is a movement to promote the use of Khowar, especially in education. Khowar-medium schools have been established in Chitral and a Khowar newspaper, Jang, is published weekly. However, the future of Khowar remains uncertain.

Language group

Indic languages

Language locales, regions and scripts

Khowar, Pakistan, Arabic
Khowar, Arabic