In Pakistan, a Sex Industry Has Begun to Boom

SEX IN DEPTH

In Pakistan, a dark trade comes to light

By William Sparrow

BANGKOK – Prostitution in the Islamic nation of Pakistan, once relegated to dark alleys and small red-light districts, is now seeping into many neighborhoods of country’s urban centers. Reports indicate that since the period of civilian rule ended in 1977, times have changed and now the sex industry is bustling.

Early military governments and religious groups sought to reform areas like the famous “Taxali Gate” district of Lahore by displacing prostitutes and their families in an effort to “reinvent” the neighborhood.

While displacing the prostitutes might have temporarily made the once small red-light district a better neighborhood for a time, it did little to stop the now dispersed prostitutes from plying their trade. Reforming a neighborhood, instead of offering education and alternative opportunities, appears to be at the core of early failures to curb the nascent sex industry. This mistake would become a prophetic error as now the tendrils of the sex trade have become omnipresent in cities like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore, not to mention towns, villages and rural outposts.

An aid worker for an Islamabad-based non-governmental organization (NGO) recently related a story: quickly after his arrival in the capital, he realized the house next to his own was a Chinese brothel. The Chinese ability to “franchise” the commercial sex industry by providing down-trodden Chinese women throughout Asia, North America and Europe would be admirable in a business sense if it were not for the atrocities – human trafficking, sexual slavery and exploitation – which cloud its practice.

Chinese bordellos, often operating as “massage parlors” or beauty salons, are across Pakistan, even spread even to war-torn and restive locations such as the Afghan capital Kabul. Chinese in the sex industry have developed a cunning ability to recognize areas where the demand for sex far outstrips the supply.

The NGO worker said that after months of living adjacent to the brothel things were shaken up – literally. One evening a drunk Pakistani drove his car into the brothel. Later the driver told authorities the ramming was a protest by a devout Muslim against the debauchery of the house and its inhabitants. The NGO worker, however, had seen the same car parked peacefully outside the house the night before.

The local sex industry comprised of Pakistani prostitutes has also grown in recent years. One can easily find videos on YouTube that show unabashed red-light areas of Lahore. The videos display house after house with colorfully lit entranceways always with a mamasan and at least one Pakistani woman in traditional dress. The women are available for in-house services for as little as 400 rupees (US$6) to take-away prices ranging 1,000 to 2,000 rupees. These districts are mostly for locals, but foreigners can indulge at higher prices.

Foreigners in Pakistan have no trouble finding companionship and may receive rates similar to locals in downtrodden districts. More upscale areas like Lahore’s Heera Mundi or “Diamond Market”, cater to well-heeled locals and foreigners. At these places prettier, younger girls push their services for 5,000 to 10,000 rupees for an all-night visit, and the most exceptional can command 20,000 to 40,000 rupees for just short time.

Rumors abound online that female TV stars and actresses can be hired for sex. “You can get film stars for 50,000 to 100,000 rupees but you need good contacts for that,” one blogger wrote after a trip to Lahore.

“The Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi sex scenes are totally changing and it’s easier and easier to get a girl for [sex],” another blogger wrote. “Most of the hotels provide you the girls upon request.” Bloggers also reported that it is easy to find girls prowling the streets after 6 pm, and foreigners can find young women hanging out near Western franchises like McDonald’s and KFC. Such women, the bloggers claim, can lead the customer to a nearby short-time accommodation.

Short-time hotels offering hourly rates can be found all over major cities, underscoring the profits being reaped by the sex industry.

Pakistan can also accommodate the gay community with prostitution. Unfortunately, this has also given rise to child prostitution.

A Pakistani blogger wrote, “We [ethnic] Pathans are very fond of boys. [In Pakistan] the wives are only [had sex with] once or twice a year. There are lot of gay brothels in Peshawar – the famous among them is at Ramdas Bazaar. [One can] go to any Afghan restaurant and find young waiters selling sex.”

As in many societies, access to technology, the Internet and mobile phones has only facilitated the sex trade in Pakistan. “Matchmaking” websites serve the male clientele, while providing marketing for prostitutes.

The root causes of prostitution in Pakistan are poverty and a dearth of opportunities. Widows find themselves on the streets with mouths to feed, and for many prostitution offers a quick fix. A local Pakistani prostitute can earn 2,000 to 3,000 rupees per day compared to the average monthly income of 2,500 rupees.

Forced prostitution is not rare. Women in hard times are often exploited and pushed into prostitution. Sandra (not her real name), said that after the death of her father she was left alone; friends and relatives deserted her after the grieving period. As a middle-class, educated woman she was surprised to find herself forced into prostitution from her office job.

“My boss initially spoiled me at first,” she told Khaleej Times. “[But] now I am in [the sex industry].” Sandra first thought her boss was being gracious, but quickly learned he was grooming her for sex for his own pleasure, and then acting as her pimp.

Many of Pakistan’s contemporary sexual mores may have evolved from traditional practices. For example, the polygamy permitted in Muslim society stemmed from the need for larger family units, the better to support familial ties and tend for widows. Until such ancient customs are updated, women such as Sandra will continue to be bought and sold.

It’s time for Pakistan to admit that prostitution is doing a roaring trade within its borders, and will continue to prosper until it is addressed in a modern manner. Let us hope that the people and government of this proud Muslim country will stop pretending the problem simply isn’t there.

William Sparrow has been an occasional contributor to Asia Times Online and now joins Asia Times Online with a weekly column. Sparrow is editor in chief of Asian Sex Gazette and has reported on sex in Asia for over five years.

Courtesy: atimes.com

Source- http://pakteahouse.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/in-pakistan-a-sex-industry-has-begun-to-boom/

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Courtesy: ARY News (Sar-e-Aam – August 24th 2012)

Via – Siasat.pk » YouTube

http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?129943-Sar-e-Aam-August-24th-2012

12 comments on “In Pakistan, a Sex Industry Has Begun to Boom

  1. Pakistani Mullas should first look into their backyards before pointing fingures at Veena Malik.

  2. Pakistani Hot Escorts the Worlds fore most Female Escort an intelligent, classy pretty lady/Escort that genuinely enjoys Companionship
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  3. no dout when our women parlimentrian searching for young boys for sex, recently a nurse after having sex with doctor at jpmc asked 10 lak imiilon ,very recently at khipro have sex with 3 parteners vide shhoting on internet,this become possible after succes of .

  4. I totally agree with OK. The problem exists here but not at epidemic level. “Heera Mandi” is a well known place of this trade in Lahore, one can not deny it. Not all the PATHANS are interested in boys, although many of them would have the tendency towards young and pretty boys but even then in majority of cases (99.99%) that may not include sex; it may be limited to friendship only. One important aspect of the trade in Peshawar/Islamabad is the “Afghani Factor”. The Afghan refugees from “Tajik” or “Uzbek” origin who are Persian speaking, commonly known in Peshawar as “Farsiban” or “Gelamjam” constitute a big portion of the trade. These people belong to the area of “Northern Alliance” of Afghanistan. Although the business in not so open and common in Peshawar and only “experienced hunters” can locate and find a girl or boy (very uncommon) for sex in Peshawar but majority of those involved in the trade comes from these Afghanis. One can easily understand why these Afghanis are doing this. In my personal opinion, the sole reason is their poverty and helplessness in this country.

  5. well i think this trade is present and will be present everywhere in the world!it has been present for centuries!in pakistan the only difference between now and then is that in older times it was more cultured and “respected” so to say with the mughals.now it is more crass and vulgar.no doubt its wrong nevertheless but times have changed…..

  6. Naive article, no concrete evidence or sources of information , as pakistanis we dont deny that prostitution exists but its still not at the ‘epidemic’ levels in most other countries, especially our neighbour India. This type of prostitution isn’t professional prostitution but rather a desperate attempt by (mostly uneducated) women to find a quick way out of poverty, the day i find a pakistani prostitute who has no economic pressure and is just doing it as a profession and as a means to earn il be the first to buy her off.

  7. as a pakistani i think we need a secular govt. to sort out such problems as every pakistani knows these exist but as we are a third world country we have to look for aid for different times towards the americans and they always support conservative ones or the rightist groups i dont know why i have much more to say but,…..as i think it will take time to be civilized

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