More damaging than terrorism, crippling power cuts in Pakistan run between 4-18 hours per day. Stifling workplace productivity, shutting down textile and rice mills and strangling health care services the national GDP has sunk to record low levels. State mismanagement of the energy sector has resulted in insufficient hydro electric programs to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population and industrial sector. During summer the population wakes up fatigued for work after sweltering through the night without light, air-conditioning or fans. A frustrated general public hits the streets during the hottest months of insufferable heat resulting in riots, burning of government buildings and state vehicles. Up within the mountainous northern areas of Pakistan, in town’s like Skardu many homes and businesses rely on back-up battery systems or costly generators fueled with petrol and diesel. Reflecting on the paralysis and sapping of productivity caused for thousands of businesses across Pakistan, this series of images documents the shopkeepers, barbers, fabric merchants and other traders in Skardu, representative of thousands of other commercial centres, continuing trade under these difficult conditions. Without reforms within the energy sector, a dark and dire economic forecast looms for Pakistan.

A man stands on the side of the road during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A tour agent stands outside his office during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A tour agent sits in his office during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012
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A portrait of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah hangs on a wall in a shop during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A back street lit by generators during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A customer has his hair trimmed in a barber shop during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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Men eat in a restaurant decorated with murals of the northern areas of Pakistan during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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Tables and chairs in a garden during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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Boys run along a back street during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012
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A man watches television in a cafe during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012
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A shopkeeper talks to a group of girls during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012
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Men in a store purchase phone credit during power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A scene of a minaret and mountains surrounding Skardu during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012
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A barber sits within his shop during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A shopkeeper regards himself in a mirror during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A pashtun man closes his shop during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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A group of men watch a Bollywood film in a cafe during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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Pedestrians silhouetted by car high beams walk along the street during a power cut in the town of Skardu, Gilglit-Baltisan Province, Pakistan on October 25, 2012.
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