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To mark International Press Freedom Day on May 3, the Herald focuses on certain trouble spots in South Asia – Pakistan, Afghanistan and India – looking at the lives and works of photojournalists documenting conflict in the region, defying the odds as they deal with terrifying moments.

They share similarities of vision, ethos and method but operating in diverse regions, there are marked differences that emerge as well. In Pakistan as the religious right warms up to photojournalists recording rallies and protest demonstrations splashed in the media, others recall psychological scars inflicted by the Taliban on people in areas where they wielded control. In India with a highly nationalist media, reporting what happens on the ground in conflict zones, especially Kashmir, offend not only one’s contemporaries but also the powerful security and state institutions leading to constraints. In Afghanistan, as the nation rebuilds itself at snail’s pace and the media tests the limits of its newfound freedom, death and tragedy are part of everyday life for a photojournalist. – Text by Nadia Jajja/Herald

The pictures and accompanying text are taken from ‘One frame at a time’, a photo feature that appeared  in May 2011 issue of the Herald magazine.

A US Marine CH-53 helicopter drop flares as it leaves Musa Qala in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on December 14, 2010. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/Herald
A US Marine CH-53 helicopter drop flares as it leaves Musa Qala in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on December 14, 2010. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/Herald
Local Afghan troopers fire in the air as they patrol a street in Kabul, Afghanistan. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP
Local Afghan troopers fire in the air as they patrol a street in Kabul, Afghanistan. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP
A Hazara girl is seen at an orphanage in Kabul Afghanistan, 2007. Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP
A Hazara girl is seen at an orphanage in Kabul Afghanistan, 2007. Photo by Massoud Hossaini/AFP
On an embedded mission with the US troops, seen here carry an injured colleague. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/Herald
On an embedded mission with the US troops, seen here carry an injured colleague. – Photo by Massoud Hossaini/Herald
Media cover the violence at Shopian, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, as local women look on. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Media cover the violence at Shopian, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, as local women look on. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Armed forces personnel take a break during the rioting in Shopian, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, in 2010. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Armed forces personnel take a break during the rioting in Shopian, Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, in 2010. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
An older man caresses and re-assures a young boy in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
An older man caresses and re-assures a young boy in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Kashmiri young boys peer out of an iron-grilled window. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Kashmiri young boys peer out of an iron-grilled window. – Photo by Dilnaz Boga/Herald
Police lathi (riot stick) charge media men as they cover a terror attack in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. – Photo by Mohammad Zubair/ AP
Police lathi (riot stick) charge media men as they cover a terror attack in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. – Photo by Mohammad Zubair/ AP
Prayer mats, slippers and prayer caps lie scattered shortly after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. – Photo by Mohammad Zubair/ AP
Prayer mats, slippers and prayer caps lie scattered shortly after a suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. – Photo by Mohammad Zubair/ AP
A man smokes up cannabis at a local shrine in Punjab. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
A man smokes up cannabis at a local shrine in Punjab. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
A care-free boy runs across the road as it rains in Lahore. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
A care-free boy runs across the road as it rains in Lahore. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
Covering the violence against the Christian community in Gojra. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
Covering the violence against the Christian community in Gojra. – Photo by Arif Ali/White Star
Covering the violence against the Christian community in Gojra. – Photo by Arif Ali/Herald
Covering the violence against the Christian community in Gojra. – Photo by Arif Ali/Herald

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