Pakistan's Poverty

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Junior (College 3rd year) ・Sociology ・Chicago ・4 Sources

Introduction

            Pakistan is one of the countries in South Asia that has made greater progress when it comes to reducing the levels of poverty. Although many individuals view the state as a no-peace country, this is contrary when the issues faced are analyzed critically. Other than the Pakistan government, independent organizations play an important role in fighting the higher levels of poverty in the country. Therefore, this paper focuses on the analysis of Pakistan, including the disasters that are continuously hitting the country, child labor and also some issues regarding the security of the country, specifically focusing on jihadism and other terrorism matters.

Soccer Balls, Child Labor and Poverty

 (What is Nike doing here?)

            While the wealth distribute on of the Pakistan population grows to be more unstable, many individuals have found themselves earning very little income. Families, especially those living below the poverty level have seen it hard to cope up with life. Women and children fall to be the most vulnerable groups, because most of them usually lack the energy to compete for the fewer resources in the country. Moreover, people living in the rural regions of Pakistan have been the victims of poverty compared to their counterparts who are living in the cities or urban areas (Khan 2016, p.28). This therefore means that, cases like corruption among the government officials highly contribute to the increased poverty level. Also, political exclusion, underperforming government officials, denial of basic rights and freedom, and poorly performing institutions are some of the common causes of vulnerability among the poor individuals in the country. Despite the fact that all the above factors play major roles in increasing the poverty level, economic vulnerability remains to be the core issue for the persistent rise in poverty levels among the underprivileged population. In addition to that, the continuous instabilities in the government in terms of power sharing or transition have also played some role in increasing the poverty level. However, this rising level of poverty has led to child labor, with children aged 4 or 5 years comfortably working in companies as employees. Child labor itself refers to the process of employing children, which later pose some effects to them including the mental, moral and physical ones. Due to the high poverty levels in most of the families, a relatively higher number of children opt out to search for employment in the soccer balls manufacturing industry. Since this company does not necessarily require skilled labor, many people who find out that they cannot get employment in other industries choose to stitch soccer balls in the respective industries. More specifically, children have played a central role in most of the production of the balls (Khan et al., 2014, p.516). However, Nike, a company responsible for offering contracts to these Pakistan companies does not take into considerations to know the processes and the people involved in this high production. Until the human rights organizations raised their pleas to the international bodies dealing with children’s rights, Nike had not taken any step in protecting underage children from this business. On its side, the only concern of Nike was the quantity, quality, and the production of the balls.

Moreover, as it has been said earlier, the idea of free market in this soccer balls production business does not exist completely. In the context of free market, the government would be able to control the activities of these companies. However, this is opposite to the expectations of a free market because these companies are under strict management of the private owners and no government activities are ever involved. Also, instead of opening up global links for all the Pakistan population, the benefits are only enjoyed by the few in the society leaving the rest to suffer continuously. Additionally, the type of trade practiced here is not fair since partiality is dominant in it. These children work the whole day stitching the balls, only to be paid an absolutely low sum of money, about $3 when evening comes. Despite these companies receiving higher amounts of money for the contracts, the employees are the ones who suffer the most (Khan 2016, p.38). The labor practiced here has no value at all, because the daily earnings of the individuals is not enough to sustain them for only that day. The working conditions are not favorable for the children, however, the high level of poverty compels them to work. It has also come to the attention of many that despite of being the most productive in the industry, these children are sometimes denied their wages because of the harshness and brutality of their employers. This can be confirmed by the fact that, when the children were banned from working in the industries, the production of the balls decreased by a high percentage.  To conclude on this, the soccer balls manufacturing industries make absolutely higher profits but instead of finding ways to improve the living standards of the individuals, all the profits are taken into the individual pockets (Ali 2013, p.23).

Disasters in Pakistan

 “Natural”

            If there is one country that has experienced disasters in the Asian region, it is Pakistan. This country has been hit by a number of disasters, which are both dangerous and deadly, claiming the lives of many people. Generally, the country is divided into three; the highlands, the plains and the plateau. It has a diversity of nature making it have many natural resources, although most of them have become a threat to the lives of the Pakistanis (Haq, Ayub and Ullah 2015, p.56). The country has faced several types of disaster both natural and human initiated. Some of the natural disasters include floods, landslides and earthquakes while human caused disasters include terrorism, health epidemics and industrial accidents. To begin with, floods affect the highest number of people in Pakistan. They usually occur or rather come from the Bengal bay due to the storms in the region, normally during the monsoon. However, there are some floods that highly affected the population, together with the economy of Pakistan. It is during the periods of 1950, 1992 and 1998 that the nation experienced such a great loss (Ali 2013, p.23). In addition to that, the floods do not only occur once for some years but instead its experienced yearly. Pakistan receives high amount of rain every year making it more vulnerable to the yearly floods. However, what makes things more difficult for most of the Pakistanis is that in most instances, the rain cannot be predicted making it difficult to lay down any necessary measures. Other than floods which has claimed many lives, the next natural disaster is drought. Although the country might be experiencing or rather receiving higher amounts of rainfall every year, there are some parts of Pakistan that receive relatively low amount of rainfall. An average rainfall of less than 250mm is low and dangerous to human beings. Therefore, these drought periods never go unnoticed because they too lead to the death and migration of both people and animals (Haq, Ayub and Ullah 2015, p.71). The third natural disaster that frequently affects this nation is earthquakes. The geographical location of the country, which is on the seismic belt, is the main reason that makes it prone to earthquakes. Most of the Pakistanis suffer because of the poor structures of their buildings, which are often of low quality. As such, earthquakes do not only lead to loss of lives but also cause destruction of valuable property. This is always a blow to both individuals and the government. The next natural disaster here is cyclones. Although it does not occur occasionally, cyclones can be very dangerous because they cause mass destruction, of both people and property. They mostly affect the coastal regions of the country and the possibilities of experiencing them are often put before and after the monsoon. Lastly, landslides also remain to be the deadliest natural disasters that are often experienced in the country. There are several factors that are increasing the chances of the occurrence of landslides. To begin with, deforestation is becoming a major cause to this fatal disaster. People have invaded the forests and cleared or rather cut down many trees without making any efforts of planting others. All this has been caused or simply empowered by the high poverty levels making the poor people to look for any necessary ways to get income. This cleared mountain ranges experience massive landslides, which are even feared to increase in the near future due the continuous demolishing of the environment, especially the forest regions (Khan et al., 2014, p.522). However, most of the regions in Pakistan are sloppy, and it is this topographical nature that makes most of them to be more susceptible to landslides. Therefore, when landslides occur, especially the massive ones, very many people lose their lives and property of high value is lost. On the other hand, these natural disasters alone could not make the whole country of Pakistan to lose direction the way it did. The government could just lay down some measures to help protect its citizens against these disasters and compensate them in case one happens unknowingly.

However, besides these natural calamities, the Pakistanis themselves are causing disasters that are affecting the country hence making the economy unstable. Human induced disasters are highly increasing in the country making the citizens to suffer. The Pakistanis are causing more trouble on themselves and therefore the catastrophes that human beings cause are now becoming a natural thing. The government has let its people to act the way they like and therefore creating a crisis in the country. Conflicts like war are becoming more common in the country. In conclusion, the Pakistan government needs to stabilize, with the intervention of the international community so that all the human prompted disasters can be terminated with immediate effect (Ali 2013, p.23).

Jihadism in the Heart of Pakistan

            Jihadism is a neologism used to describe the movement of the Islamic groups who are known to be holding strong beliefs of the Islamic religion, most often creating more threats to the western countries. Pakistan has also been accused by many countries in the west for being in support of the terrorist groups. This is because of the disorder that is countering the country right from the top, where there is no stable form of governance and also where citizens are involved in different wars every day (Khan 2016, p.96). Also, Islamic fundamentalism is seen to be circulating within the core of the Pakistan society today. Nonetheless, some Islamic groups have been exposed while openly supporting jihadism in Pakistan, with their main enemy being India. This follows an incident where a young jihadist was killed in India, after some conflicts arose. However, there has been persistent war between the jihadist group in Pakistan and the Indian community with many individuals losing their lives in the battle. Therefore, most of the terrorist groups have joined hands with the jihad community causing a major threat to the lives of the people. Many Pakistanis have been killed by terrorists, where the effect has then been felt in the economy of the country. The many terrorist groups in Pakistan also play a bigger role in destabilizing the government so that the work of their hands can bear fruits without resistance from any direction. It is however a misconception that the government of Pakistan supports terrorism. Instead, terrorist groups have already dominated many parts of the country, making it hard for the elected leaders to stand firm against terrorism and this has forced, in many instances, the military to take over the government so as to salvage the lives of the many innocent Pakistanis (Khan et al., 2014, p.529). Other than the terrorists, there is another group of the Islamic fundamentalists, although the latter is not as dangerous as the former. Islamic fundamentalism therefore involves creation or rather formation of Islamic groups in the Pakistan society so that they can stand to be independent. However, these fundamentalists are also a threat to the people and the government because they mostly oppose the policies that are trying to tie them down. The fundamentalists have also taken the advantage of the instability of the government to widen their roots and increase their groups so that whatever they say can be implemented immediately. Nevertheless, the Islamic fundamentalists have been opposing countries like the United States and Russia who seem to be more concerned with stabilizing the Pakistan government. The conflicts have therefore grown from just being minute issues to bigger problems that seem unresolvable in the near future. Finally, looking at the security in Pakistan, it has improved significantly from where it has been in the last five to ten years. Following some factors like political dialogue and continued democratic indulgence, the security of the country has taken a bigger step ahead. This has also seen the terrorist attacks lower, thanks to the friendly neighboring countries like China and the United States, who have even deployed their security personnel to the most affected regions so as to bring back the peace that the Pakistanis have missed for long. Finally, better relations between the public and the military have also played a better role in ensuring that the country stabilizes (Ali 2013, p.23).

 

Reference list

Ali, Sharafat. "The small and medium enterprises and poverty in Pakistan: An empirical             analysis." European Journal of Business and Economics, 8 (2): 25 30 (2013).

Haq, Muhammad Abrar Ul, Kashif Ayub, and Muhammad Imdad Ullah. "Micro-level             Determinants of Rural Poverty in Pakistan." (2015).

Khan, Durdana. "Disaster Management." (2016).

Khan, Atta Ullah, Abdul Saboor, Abid Hussain, Shumaila Sadiq, and Abdul Qayyum Mohsin.           "Investigating multidimensional poverty across the regions in the Sindh province of      Pakistan." Social indicators research 119, no. 2 (2014): 515-532

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