Power Vacuum

Adam Ferguson for TIME

An employee of the Karachi Electric Supply Co. on a repair job in the city.

Afternoon prayers are over, and a throng of male worshippers has congregated outside a small mosque in Lyari Town to gaze at a man in a hard hat: an electrician. Balanced high on a ladder, he reaches into a tangle of power lines on the side of an apartment building and, with an unsentimental snip of his wire cutters, surgically removes a thick strand from the snarl. It lands in his truck below with a thud. The men squint up in the muggy heat of the late-September afternoon, watching the lineman toss down wire after...

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