group of western Punjabi dialects

Pahari-Pothwari is a Punjabi variety or dialect within the Indo-Aryan language family,[1] spoken in Pothohar region of Punjab and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan; as well as in western parts of Jammu and Kashmir in India.[2] It is known by different names, such as Pahari, Pothwari, Pothohari, Mirpuri.

پوٹھواری‎, پہاڑی
Poṭhwārī, Pahāṛī
Native toPakistan
RegionPothohar region of Punjab, Azad Kashmir and western parts of Jammu and Kashmir, other parts of India including Punjab and Haryana (by partition refugees and descendants)
Native speakers
several million[a]
Language codes
ISO 639-3phr
Glottologpaha1251  Pahari Potwari

Pahari-Pothwari is classified within Lahnda (Western Punjabi) and is transitional between Hindko in the west and Majhi in the east. The Punjabi poet, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, wrote in a mix of Majhi and Pothwari.[3]



Within Pakistan, it is spoken in the Pothohar Plateau and Azad Kashmir and overlaps between these two regions.[4]: 46 



The numbering in Pahari-Pothwari is similar to that of other Punjabi dialects and varieties. Pahari-Pothwari uses tre for three, which is also found in some forms of Majhi and Hindko.[5]

  1. ik
  2. do
  3. tre
  4. čar
  5. panj
  6. čae
  7. sat
  8. att
  9. nou
  10. das
  1. Baart (2003, p. 10) provides an estimate of 3.8 million, presumably for the population in Pakistan alone. Lothers & Lothers (2010, p. 9) estimate the Pakistani population at well over 2.5 million and the UK diaspora at over 0.5 million. The population in India is reported in Ethnologue (2017) to be about 1 million as of 2000.


  1. Shackle, Christopher (2010). "Lahnda". In Brown, Keith; Ogilvie, Sarah (eds.). Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 9780080877754.
  2. Shackle, C. (November 1979). "Problems of Classification in Pakistan Panjab". Transactions of the Philological Society. 77 (1): 191–210. doi:10.1111/j.1467-968X.1979.tb00857.x. ISSN 0079-1636.
  3. "Punjabi University, Patiala". Archived from the original on 2017-07-31. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  4. Javaid, Umbreen. 2004. Saraiki political movement: its impact in south Punjab. Journal of Research (Humanities), 40(2): 55–65. Lahore: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Punjab. (This PDF contains multiple articles from the same issue.)
  5. Rahman, Tariq. 1997. Language and Ethnicity in Pakistan. Asian Survey, 1997 Sep., 37(9):833-839.