Oregon Law Student Witnesses Historic Elections in Pakistan

This story was first published in the UO School of Law website.

In April of 2012, I was awarded a Short Term Lecture and Research Fellowship with the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Although it took nearly a year to plan, I arrived in Islamabad on April 17th, 2013, just weeks before one of the most important elections in Pakistan's history. Although as I write this I am still trying to fully digest certain aspects of both the personal and professional experiences of this trip, I can confidently say that my six weeks in Pakistan represent one of the most amazing periods and transformational moments of my life. 

Before dissecting the actual work I completed, I believe it is important to comment up front on the one subject most people want to ask me about – security. I felt remarkably safe throughout the trip, and even the few times where a safety concern arose, nothing materialized. In fact, in many ways I felt safer traveling around Islamabad and the surrounding region than I do when traveling around Guatemala City or parts of LA and Chicago. This is not meant to diminish the actual violence occurring in certain parts of the country, and it is important to note that the restrictions on my visa kept me from visiting those places. Instead, I mean to say that many of the areas in which foreigners are allowed to venture are far safer and more comfortable than even I expected. If anyone reading this has an opportunity to visit Pakistan, I strongly encourage you to not let the security concerns keep you from getting on the plane.

You can read the complete story at the UO School of Law Newsroom.