|Regions with significant populations|
|Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, China|
Russian, Chinese, Tajik, Pashto, Urdu, Kashmiri
|Islam (Ismaili Shia)|
The Wakhi people (Wakhi: ; Chinese? or , both pronounced "Wahan", Russian: ?) or the Khik (), are an Iranian ethnic group living in adjacent, remote regions of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and China. They are predominantly centered in Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor, the northernmost part of Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan, the Gorno-Badakhshan region of Tajikistan and the southwestern region of China's Xinjiang. They are native speakers of Wakhi, an Indo-European language of the Iranian branch.
The Wakhi people refer to themselves as Khik and to their language as Khik zik. The exonym Wakh?, which is given to them by their neighbors, is based on Wux?, the local name of the region of Wakhan, deriving from *Wax?u, the old name of the Oxus River (Amu Darya), which is a major river formed by the junction of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers on the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Ethnic Wakhi-speakers have a total population of about 50,000-58,000. The population is divided between four countries: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and China's Xinjiang. The Wakhi people have been settlers of their lands for hundreds if not thousands of years. The machinations of The Great Game during the eighteenth and nineteenth century created boundaries which separated the large body of the Wakhis into living in four countries.
In Gilgit-Baltistan in the north of Pakistan, Wakhi predominantly live in the upper region of Hunza popularly known as Gojal. Wakhi speakers also live in Ishkoman Valley of District Ghizer, and some villages of Yasin Valley.
In China, the Wakhi people, together with the Sarikoli people, are officially recognized as "Tajiks", with ethnic-minority autonomous status. In Afghanistan, they are officially called "Pamiri". In Tajikistan, they are recognized by the state as "Tajiks", but self-identify as "Pamiri". In Pakistan, they refer to themselves as "Wakhi" or "Pamiri" or "Gujali".
Activists and researchers have been working to preserve and record the language of the Wakhi people, and have developed Wakhi orthographies using the Arabic, Cyrillic, and Latin scripts.
In 1990, the Gojali Wakhis of Pakistan established the "Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association", which aimed to preserve, document, and publish their "local culture". The association introduced a script that was applied into linguistic and literary textbooks, and organized cultural festivals. Radio Pakistan's Radio Gilgit also aired a daily Wakhi-language program named Bam-e Dunya ("Roof of the World").