A man rides his bike down the former main street of the ancient city of Sirkap, which was a crowded settlement more than 2,000 years ago. Villagers now use the street as a shortcut home. John Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Poole/NPR

In early April, professor Iftikhar Baloch was assaulted and nearly killed in his office by members of Islami Jamiat Taliba, who were upset at the expulsion of some of their members from the university. John Poole/NPR hide caption

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At a family brick-making operation near the Grand Trunk Road in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, workers load donkeys with sun-dried bricks to be carried to the kiln. John Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Poole/NPR

Kosar Ghaffar Ahmed, 17, participates in a literacy program in which students learn through transcribing text messages. John Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Poole/NPR

Muhammad Yasir, 23, lifts free weights at Gold's Gym in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Despite its name, the facility is not affiliated with the U.S. gym chain. John Poole/NPR hide caption

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Shazia Bibi (right) is shown with her family in this undated photo. The 12-year-old died under mysterious circumstances in January 2010, after eight months working in the household of a prominent lawyer in Lahore, Pakistan. Naeem Chaudhry, her employer, is being investigated in connection with her death. Courtesy Masih Family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Masih Family

Pakistani Rangers (in black) goosestep at the Wagah border; India's border guards are in tan. The 30-minute ritual show of force and bluster happens every evening of the year. Hundreds of spectators come to watch the show -- from both sides of the border. John Poole/NPR hide caption

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A cultural war is playing out among Pakistan's youth, pitting fundamentalism against secularism, isolationism versus globalization. Here, female students attend classes at the private Institute of Management Sciences in Peshawar, in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

About 176 children between the ages of 6 and 11 attend this primary school in a village on the outskirts of Aligarh. But many of them must skip class to help work on their families' farm. Kainaz Amaria for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria for NPR

Young Indian women celebrate at the border ceremony, where Pakistani and Indian crowds try to outdo one another with slogans and chants. Kainaz Amaria for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kainaz Amaria for NPR

A man rides his bike down the former main street of the ancient city of Sirkap, which was a crowded settlement more than 2,000 years ago. Villagers now use the street as a shortcut home. John Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Poole/NPR