The Kalash are believed to be the descendants of Alexander the Great’s army. According to DNA studies their lineage is predominantly composed of western lineages. Studies have shown that European DNA was added to their DNA profile at roughly the time of Alexander’s conquests. For the first time the Pakistani government has recognised the Kalash as a distinct ethnic minority within Pakistan.
The Kalash, residing in the Chitral District of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan won the right to be counted separately during the census to be carried out in Pakistan (the first in two decades). The 4,000 people have attracted interest by ethnologist and anthropologists, as they maintain distinct religious and cultural customs, very different from those of Muslims; they are polytheists and have a strong connection with nature.