Ajoka Theater founder Madeeha Guahar on stage following a performance in Islamabad of a play about blasphemy. In the antisecular atmosphere following the Punjab governor's assassination, the staging of the play is a rare example of secular society standing up against the intimidation of religious extremists. Julie McCarthy/NPR hide caption

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Swati embroidery is being revived "one stitch at a time" in the vocational institution established in a wing of Ahmed Zeb's home in Saidu Sharif, the old capital of Swat. The princess has taught hundreds of women "to stand up, avoid charity, [and] earn with dignity." Julie McCarthy/NPR hide caption

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A contingent of Pakistani troops march during a parade at a military training center in Karachi in 2009. The army is a powerful force in Pakistani political life. U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reflect the clout wielded by the chief of the military, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Activists of the Pakistani fundamentalist party Jamiat Talaba Islam protest last month in Karachi, carrying signs decrying blasphemers and chanting slogans against Asia Bibi, a Christian mother sentenced to death for blasphemy. Politicians and conservative clerics are at odds over whether President Asif Ali Zardari should pardon Asia Bibi, sentenced to hang for defaming the Prophet Muhammad. Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In exile since 2008, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has announced his return to politics with the launch of a new political party and a potential run for the presidency. Here, he addresses members of the British Pakistani community in Birmingham in October. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images hide caption

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Qismat Ali, 50, stands in the foundation of the two-room house he was building in the Charsadda district when floods hit Pakistan in late July, washing away fields, crops, livestock, homes and schools. Julie McCarthy/NPR hide caption

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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari speaks at an August meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, southern Russia. AP hide caption

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