Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Pakistan's Young Elite See Problems

Maria Khan is a 25-year-old barrister from Lahore.
John Poole
Maria Khan is a 25-year-old barrister from Lahore.

Some of Pakistan's best-educated young people are more concerned with class divides than they are with terrorism. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is so deep that a person's standing is easily determined at a glance -- a result of what one student calls "extreme social discrimination."

These students, the children of affluent families, have benefited from a first-class education in a country that is struggling to raise its literacy rate.

They often go to college in the U.S. or Europe -- or study at prestigious schools like the Lahore University of Management and Science. After they graduate, many of these young people face a dilemma: whether to go back home to live with their families, or to pursue their careers abroad.


As she ate dinner on a rooftop high above the streets of Lahore, Maria Khan, a 25-year-old lawyer who studied at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and Cambridge in England, described how her friends decide whether to stay in their troubled country, or leave it.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit