Despite Karachi's decades-old reputation as Pakistan's most violent city, over the last year this urban economic hub has remained a haven from the bombings and violence reverberating through the rest of the country. But a flaring of ethnic clashes in recent weeks, exacerbated by a the arrival of thousands of refugees from the violence in northern Pakistan, has many worried that instability has returned to the streets of this massive port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
The day is closing in Jellozai and children run along the narrow dusty rows of UNICEF-stamped tents trying to squeeze a little more play time out of the dying evening. Some 43,000 people live in this refugee camp just outside of Peshawar, after fleeing violence in the tribal regions not far from here.
Beginning last summer, intensified clashes between Taliban militants and the Pakistani military — as well as U.S. drone attacks — have created chaos in the ungoverned tribal belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In the gray light of my first morning in Pakistan, the thick salty smell of sulfur introducing me to the seaside city of Karachi, the streets were full of men.
With few exceptions it was men congregating in front of the still dark airport, men piled onto buses carnival decorated with Technicolor and chrome and men weaving through the thickening traffic on motor bikes and rickshaws.
I thought back to my trip to Pakistan in 2006, when one of my greatest regrets was that I hadn't had the opportunity to meet and hang out with more women.
Sarah Stuteville, for the Pulitzer Center