Balochistan, divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a vast swathe of land the size of France. It boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand kilometres of coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.
Despite the wealth under their sandals, the Baloch people inhabit the most underdeveloped regions of their respective countries; Afghanistan is no exception.
Balwan Singh, an 84-year-old shopkeeper living in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, is well past retirement age, but any illusions he may have had about living out his golden years in peace and security have long since been dashed.
Minority communities in Pakistan have long had a raw deal. Accounting for just 10 percent of this country’s population of 180 million, they are no strangers to marginalisation, discrimination or even violence.
Luis Shabi nostalgically recalls his nine years of novitiate in Rome and a "fantastic road trip through Europe" before returning to Iraq in 1969. "Those were the good times," sighs the Chaldean Archbishop of Baghdad from a bunker in the heart of the Iraqi capital.
Twenty-five-year-old Syed Hasan, a doctor practicing in a private hospital in Lahore, plans to spend most of May 11, Pakistan’s long-awaited Election Day, in bed.
As millions around the world enter the third week of the Ramadan fast, the fraternity that typically unites Muslims during the holy month does not extend to Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, which is facing worse persecution than ever before.