Pakistan’s Wasteland: The Bhutto Backyard

March 4, 2018
6 photos
  • Marjan, her husband Mumtaz and their six children live in poverty in Garhi Khuda Baksh. Mumtaz says the Bhuttos have never walked the streets of the village. He asks, ”Unless they see this poverty, how will they ever understand it?”

  • Marjan and Mumtaz’s home has mud walls and a roof held up by tree trunks. A few steel utensils—cups, plates and bowls—make up their family wealth.

  • Marjan uses buffalo dung to fuel her cooking  stove. Her kitchen is a tiny patch of land shaded by a discarded political banner.

  • The bathing area in Marjan and Mumtaz’s home features an open-air, rusty hand pump that draws water from the ground. Marjan has been collecting bricks, hoping to build walls one day.

  • The rusty signboard painted with the flag of the Pakistan Peoples Party says this area is supposed to be a place of congregational prayer in Garhi Khuda Baksh. The community facility provided by the government is being used instead as a buffalo shed.

  • Qurban Ali, in his 60s, spends all day selling rice from a pushcart in Garhi Khuda Baksh. ”My family has been in this village for generations just like the Bhuttos,” he says. ”Yet I’ve never met any of them.”