Pakistan: Land of Contrasts
Despite switching only years ago from military to civilian rule, and a continuing struggle to provide basic public services and control pockets of battling militants, the social fabric of Pakistan remains strong. But looming strikes and rolling blackouts still reflect the country’s contrasts within daily life.
Take for example the bridge in Karachi called “Native Jetty,” where people go to jump to their deaths. Others frequent the same spot to toss dough balls into the water for luck. Even trucks and buses are brightly painted against neutral-toned concrete buildings. A few days after five members of Pakistan’s dominant political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, were shot and killed, life in Karachi returns to normal. At the Sunday Bazaar, shoppers can find anything from fruits and vegetables to the latest Twilight vampire series.
This juxtaposition of hope and despair is just one of the contrasts in Karachi — and in Pakistan as a whole.
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(Photos by Larisa Epatko)