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My Essay on Disappearances in Pakistan. Help


cantonhero 2 / 2  
Sep 21, 2009   #1
Hey everyone, I'd just like some feedback on my essay for first year political science - I think it's okay but to I'm not so sure it runs together smooth enough - and I think because I have all this research and facts in my head that I might be missing some things out perhaps? Any feedback/help is greatly appreciated!! (I know it's kind of long)

Have yet to write my intro & conclusion.. (Any ideas?)

Pakistan has been shaped by its history - both pre-Islamic and Islamic. Colored in particular by it's troubled and blood-soaked birth as an independent nation in 1947 (Christophe Jeffrelot 2002: 151) with British India divided into India and Pakistan.

Today, Pakistan is still a very troubled country in which refugee based politics, resettlements and armed conflicts involving millions of refugees continue (Yogendra K. Malik 2001: 137) Because of these problems Pakistan deals with a lot of corruption within its government, which has led to extremely bad governance of the nation. Combining this with the religious beliefs of the people especially those beliefs about women, homosexuality and expression puts gender discrimination and social injustice at an extreme high.

Forced disappearances happen all over the world, especially in countries where there is a lot of internal corruption and human rights fall under the margin. But in Pakistan the problem has grown significantly in recent years. Men and women abducted - poets, doctors, housewives and nuclear scientists, accused of terrorism, treason and murder are imprisoned and labeled "enemies of the state". (The Guardian 2007) Their crimes are unknown, there is no judge and no trial - they are simply taken, on the way to work, at their homes, on the street and hidden in detaining cells where they are kept without basic needs, beaten and tortured - sometimes to death. The women are usually raped and used as sex slaves for the Pakistani Military officers. (Asian Human Rights Commission 2009)

In 2006 then President of the United States, George W Bush confirmed that the CIA was operating a program of 'incommunicado detention'; which means that the detainee cannot communicate with the outside world. In fact many governments were involved in this type of practice to varying degrees. People who were held in these programs were victims of kidnap - of enforced disappearance.

Pakistan's increase of these 'incommunicado detentions' are due to its joining of the US-led so called "War on Terror" it also joined the number of countries that practiced these enforced disappearances. The lines of justifiable detainment were quickly blurred and the kidnappings soon spread to activists working for greater ethnic rights, Human Rights activists trying to expose the government and their incommunicado detentions right down to those who had no affiliation with terrorists whatsoever. The precise number of those disappeared is difficult to ascertain since there are no official records to go by but The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates there are at least 400 cases in just one Pakistani province alone, other human rights groups put the number of those disappeared in the thousands and still despite all the undeniable evidence, the Pakistani government, of course, deny ever subjecting anyone to enforced disappearances.

This abuse of Human Rights is extremely serious, it shows that the absolute power, the government and it's military, those elected to protect and serve the people can basically do what they want and go against not only their own laws but the laws of humanity to suit themselves. A serious breach of Human Rights; people taken against their will, without warning, without a trial and deprived of basic human needs and stripped of their humanity, not only does this effect the victims but it also affects their families. Relatives of those subjected to enforced disappearance have told Amnesty International that they experienced extreme anxiety about their loved ones, frustration in not knowing where they are being held or whether they are even alive, harassment from authorities when trying to find answers, economic hardships and social exclusion from peers in fear of being detained by association. (Amnesty USA 2007)

These atrocities are blatant infringes of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights acts, examples relating directly to Pakistan's incommunicado detentions are articles number 5 which states that "no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." And article number 3 that states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." How can the Pakistani Government and Military have such blatant disregard for these universal rules of Human Rights? And what can be done to prevent these forcible disappearances, rescue those detained or at the very least bring justice and closure to the families and persons affected?

Creating awareness of the problem is a major step to fulfilling these goals, things like Non Governmental Organizations staging protests, and people coming forward about what they know are key elements but this is also hard to do for the knowledge that in Pakistan, torture is routinely used to silence anyone who opposes the government. August 30 is The International Day of The Disappeared created specifically to draw attention to the individuals who were disappeared, to call for donations and volunteers (Wikipedia 2009) and to create international public awareness of the extreme abuse of human rights and In 2006 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and was opened for signature in February 2007. (Amnesty International 2009) The text would help prevent enforced abductions, punish the perpetrators and also to provide reparations to both the victims and their families. As of July 2009, eighty-one states have signed on, and thirteen have ratified. Unfortunately it will only come into force when ratified by twenty states.

The best option would be to have The Human Rights Council intervene immediately to ensure that the government of Pakistan improves its horrendous human rights record, face up to their actions and acknowledge and investigate every case of enforced disappearance and hold those responsible to account. Ensure that those held captive are immediately released and that all allegations of incommunicado detention, torture, sex slavery and murder are fully investigated thoroughly by a trustworthy and independent council.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Sep 21, 2009   #2
Pakistan has been shaped by its history - both pre-Islamic and Islamic.

Already I have a horrible feeling about this essay. Of course Pakistan has been shaped by its history, every place is.

Colored in particular by it's troubled and blood-soaked birth as an independent nation in 1947 (Christophe Jeffrelot 2002: 151) with British India divided into India and Pakistan.

Better. At least the content is substantial. But it's also a sentence fragment.

which has led to extremely bad governance of the nation.

You are going to need to define what you mean by bad governance, here.

Combining this with the religious beliefs of the people especially those beliefs about women, homosexuality and expression puts gender discrimination and social injustice at an extreme high.

Again, some explication and nuance might be in order. Surely you are not going to be ethnocentric and judge a culture negatively just because it oppresses over half its population. Fiend!

Pakistan's increase of these 'incommunicado detentions' are due to its joining of the US-led so called "War on Terror"

This seems like a gross oversimplification. Dictators oppress their people and terrorize their opponents. That's sort of their nature.

The best option would be to have The Human Rights Council intervene immediately to ensure that the government of Pakistan improves its horrendous human rights record, face up to their actions and acknowledge and investigate every case of enforced disappearance and hold those responsible to account.

LOL! No, the best option would be for God to reach down and smite the wicked rulers of that nation. It's about as likely to happen, too, as what you propose. Naivete is not a great attribute in a poli. sci. student.

Overall, your essay seems a bit shallow and naive. Your main idea is that Pakistan doesn't respect human rights and that this is bad. Both parts of that are perfectly true, but it doesn't really require a full length essay to convince anyone of it. Moreover, all of your sources come from one end of the political spectrum, ("The Guardian," "Amnesty International," "Asian Human Rights Commission," etc.) This perhaps explains the confusion of your ideas, and why, in an essay on Pakistan, you manage to work in a "George W. Bush and America bad" paragraph.

Don't get me wrong, Pakistan is a U.S. ally, and has been able to get away with a lot of abuses without facing much criticism as a result. You probably could even make a case that the U.S.'s actions in the War on Terror have undermined its moral authority to criticize such abuses, and even made it easier for friendly dictators to engage in them. But you don't make this case. You simply repeat political talking points picked up from a handful of websites.

If this were a paper for an English class, you'd be fine. I would hope, though, that a poli. sci. prof would have higher standards for an essay on this subject. Try reading more books and journal articles on the subject, and at least get an idea of why the notion of the U.N. Human Rights Council forcing Pakistan to do anything is laughable.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Sep 22, 2009   #3
If you're going to talk about the U.S. in relation to Pakistan, you have to go back further in history in order to make sense, explaining how, just after Partition, the U.S. decided to support Pakistan -- and specifically right-leaning elements within Pakistan -- in order to try to balance left-leaning, China-favoring India. Then -- in the 1980s -- the U.S. funneled support for the Afghan opposition to the Soviets through Pakistan. This money was channeled via the Pakistan secret service branch of the military, which thereby gained the power it continues to hold today. And, of course, the Afghan-Pakistan "border" being so porous and indeed illusory to the ethnic group the sprawls across it, financial support for anti-Soviet fundamentalist Islamists in the 1980s has "blown-back" to create the situation we have today not only in Afghanistan but also in Pakistan.


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