Prostitution in the land of the pure

Published: November 19, 2011

Oil painting of a prostitute from Lahore's Red Light District, by Iqbal Hussain

Whenever I hear the word ‘prostitute’  the first image that comes to mind is an inappropriately dressed woman standing in filthy streets waiting for a client. The discussion on the issue how cruel the profession is to women – their empty, hungry stomachs forcing them to sell their bodies in order to buy bread for the family. But let’s think for a moment; what about all the men, the children, and the teenagers that engage in such acts?

In Pakistan, the topic of prostitution is taboo – one that is hardly ever discussed. It is difficult to describe or understand the scale of this corrupt profession.

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) has said that hardly anyone has ever tried to challenge the problem of male prostitution thanks to the ‘strong social taboo’ it carries with it. This logically translates to the fact that the health department does not even have any data or records related to male prostitution, so they cannot tell us the exact statistics.

However, according to the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, in 2001, it is thought that as many as 15,000 to 20,000 children were affected by commercial sexual exploitation. ‘Free floating’ prostitution resembles ‘the pick and choose scheme’ and is widespread in many major cities where under-aged children including hijras (transgenders) can be picked right off the street.

A child prostitute of 14 years can be easily bought with the meagre sum of three to five thousand rupees. Male child prostitutes – ranging from ages 15-25 – are thought to be cheaper than their female counterparts. Unlike females, male prostitutes are reluctant to reveal specific problems and details about their work because of social taboos.

Surveys show that children as young as eight-years-old work as male prostitutes. Since they have limited skills to rely on in order to support themselves, prostitution becomes the most practical and lucrative form of employment. According to data collected, children allege that police and army soldiers make up  a ‘significant portion of their clientèle’.

The sad thing is that even though many of these young boys are free to leave the profession whenever they want to, financial difficulties and lack of choices force them to continue. They, thus, grow up to be pimps themselves. A child prostitute is believed to earn up to Rs12,000 per month which is more than most jobs pay children.

Similar to prostitution is the practice of ‘bachabazi’ which exists in Pakistan mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is thought to refer to older men keeping young boys as their sexual partners with the former becoming responsible for the education, clothing and general care of the latter in return for ‘sexual favours.’

Through a study, the National Coalition of Child Rights and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) discovered that a third of the men living in KP were proud to be pedophiles. Another 11% thought there was nothing wrong with this practice.

The National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD) interviewed 233 children in the country’s four provinces and found out that a shocking amount of 159 revealed that they had engaged in commercial sex. Out of the 159, 98 were boys who found business in public places such as hotels, restaurants, video shops, cinema halls and parks.

According to surveys, 95% of the teenage prostitutes in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Lahore were sexually abused by their close relatives, friends and teachers before entering the business of prostitution. Contrary to common judgement of prostitutes normally being uneducated and poor, research has shown that 74% of them were university graduates.

Although one tends to associate prostitution only to women, men, teenagers and children are equal victims, suffering the cruel injustice of being sexually abused. Young children are pushed into this profession simply because they do not have enough money or the skills that come from a good education. Moreover, young, naïve people fall victim to the cruel and ruthless pimps who entrap them with promises of money and transform them into the very same monsters they are.

Prostitution, whether it is legal or not in various countries, is a form of discrimination against humanity. It is degrading, it spreads diseases, and encourages lazy labour. We must put a stop to it.

aneka.chohan

Aneka Chohan

A freelance journalist and human rights activist. She tweets @anekachohan.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • asad

    thanksRecommend

  • Talha

    Forced and child prostitution must be stopped by all means. Unfortunately in sexually repressed Muslim countries, such things go unnoticed.

    In regards to prostitution, I have seen some exquisitely beautiful women who willingly work as escorts which is intriguing.

    P.S. The main picture made me laugh.Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad

    Very informative and to the point article.Recommend

  • Cynical

    These young male prostitutes and their clients cannot be Muslims.Investigate thoroughly, you will find they are either Jews or Hindus.Recommend

  • sajid

    Through a study, the National
    Coalition of Child Rights and the
    United Nations International
    Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
    discovered that a third of the men
    living in NWFP were proud to be
    pedophiles. Another 11% thought there
    was nothing wrong with this practice.

    Extremely disgusting and dissappointing. No wonder our country is going nowhere when we have animals living amongst us. At least in westren countries which pakistanis love to attack these problems are talked about and measures taken to eradicate them. Recommend

  • Mm

    Shocking numbers.. Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    In our society, men are generally more immune to social disgrace when it comes to ignominious sexual activities. Women are always judged more keenly. They don’t have to do much before the society stamps the word “slut” or “whore” on their foreheads.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Much to the chagrin of the devout, I don’t believe in banning prostitution. Not because I’m not perturbed by this trade, but because a ban is not a pragmatic solution.

    If legalized, the sex industry can be regulated by the federal government to ensure the safety of the worker and the consumer. It can be taxed to generate revenue, and bringing it out of the underground world where it stays out of the government’s reach, human trafficking can be much better controlled.

    We need to get past the “ewww!” factor and try to think practically.Recommend

  • Ziber

    Very well articulated and researched material. you have shed a light on an issue which indeed needs public attention. productive journalism is what i read all through these lines.Recommend

  • sajid

    Why is express not publishing any comments on this article? All the stupid article about gays, lesbians terrorism are allowed comments but not an important article like this which reflects on the sad state of our society.Recommend

  • Mj

    “Prostitution, whether it is legal or not in various countries, is a form of discrimination against humanity. It is degrading, it spreads diseases, and encourages lazy labour. We must put a stop to it.”

    Exploitation of children is one of the most detestable crimes , but it is a big leap of faith to call prostitution ‘degrading’ and a ‘form of discrimination against humanity’ as you put it. In countries where it legal, it is for the person of legal age and sound mind to decide using his/her free will whether this profession is acceptable and suitable for him/her or not. In countries where it is legal and under gov’t purview, the cases of forced or underaged prostitution are very limited. On the other hand, in countries where the profession thrives but is illegal (Pakistan, Indonesia, UAE, Afghanistan) forced and underaged prostitution flourishes.

    I am not a ‘john’, but is it not better to regulate the profession and place mandatory health and age checks than to risk the lives of children, women and men, both clients and providers, and their spouses? Tell me, Ms. Chohan, how we can put a stop to it? Are you aware that there are virtual red light districts even in Saudi Arabia? It is easy to take a stance of moral warrior but harder to provider solutions. Recommend

  • Disgusted

    74% of the prostitutes are university graduates ! Alarming statistic ! Pakistan has come a long way in education , it seems =pRecommend

  • http://awaisaftab.blogspot.com F.

    I’d be all for legalizing and regulating prostitution, but when we speak of that, our models are Western countries (particularly certain European nations) where the law actually works and doesn’t excessively favor the rich by default. I can see how legalizing prostitution can be a very good and humane idea in such an environment, but in a generally oppressive environment such as ours, where only convenient versions of laws are followed anyway, we might as well be legalizing slavery.Recommend

  • I like to blah.

    Why do you hype it up saying “in the land of pure?” The business of prostitution is rampant in the world and doesn’t have to do anything with Pakistan. What will you comment about place where prostitution is legal? Where naked girls sit in display cubicles like mannequins in a shop? Stop generalising and defaming Pakistan on everything.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    This had some shocking statistics. It is true that male and child prostitution is almost completely ignored in our society, with the majority not even wanting to think about it. But truly more needs to be done for these people, to help them get out of such a psychologically and physically damaging profession and back into the folds of society.

    I agree with F. Legalizing prostitution is not going to help at this point in time, nor do I think our society is ready for it. Rather we need to alter the laws to prosecute the pimps rather than the sex worker, as well as set up centres to reach out and help those involved unwillingly, try to rehabilitate them back into society.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Liked all the facts and figures you threw out.
    Get real – this can not be stopped, it has to be be regulated. Government by itself will do nothing as this must lie very low on its priority list. So that leaves NGOs and society in general to push for reforms.Recommend

  • Junaid Chughtai

    These are some queer facts totally new to me.Recommend

  • pasha

    an eyeopener…..civil society must also take up this matter seriously, instead of oushing such ‘taboos’ under the carpet……hairan kun statistics…..good work Aneka chohan….Recommend

  • Uncle J

    According to data collected, children
    allege that police and army soldiers
    make up a ‘significant portion of
    their clientèle’.

    Just to be clear, you started of the article by saying that you don’t have any statistics because the health department doesn’t keep records, and right in the middle of the article up comes this statement? You’re making up stats and statements. While you’re right we need to get past this taboo factor, you won’t win any people with your made up facts and your lying stats.

    @I like to blah:

    Dude, or dudette, get a life. This is PAKISTAN. We’re talking about PAKISTAN. Why? Because we’re PAKISTANIS. Not Indians, Americans, Israelis. We don’t care what goes on in the world. But we do care what goes on in PAKISTAN. Why? Because once again we’re PAKISTANIS.Recommend

  • Lady C

    High time stay safe and clean every one ..!!Recommend

  • muhammad imran

    our hypocritical society doesn’t condemn the men who visit prostitutes.all the besharmi,beghairti is laid at the feet of the women while the men who visit prostitutes are called ‘studs’, ‘mard kay bachay’ while the prostitutes are considered the scum of society.
    i’ve seen well educated girls overlook their husband’s availing the services of prostitutes but even where there is a hint of a woman looking at another man the husband beats her black and blue.the sickening double standards are very popular in our Islamic republic.it’s time wives starting divorcing the husbands who cheat on them.shor dalnay kay baad if you still stick with him it just shows him that you are totally dependent on his income and you’ll go nowhere no matter what he does.only when our women will start divorcing cheating husbands will their status in society increase.Recommend

  • Shaizy

    Well articulated but finds real problem with the heading. It is common all around the world and can’t be stopped then why to kick Pakistan only? The profession is as old as history and it’s impossible to be controlled 100%. However, regulatory measures could be taken to minimize it. Recommend

  • F Korn

    You simply can’t put an end to this profession,it had it’s roots in every era and in every class irrespective of cultural and religious bindings.So the best thing is to make it a legal profession working under Ministry of Prostitution.Recommend

  • samia

    @ uncle J
    I think she meant there is no official data collected by the government. Instead the statistics she used were taken from NGO’s and different human rights organisations.
    @ I like to blah
    Isn’t the meaning of Pakistan land of the pure? If she used this literal translation in her heading whats wrong with it and secondly who cares what happens in rest of the world. Just because according to you half-naked girls dance in some parts of the world we turn a blind eye towards a rampant social problem in our society? Did you read what she wrote? Did you read how our yongsters are pimped and used by pedophiles? If we don’t talk about the ills in our society and raise awareness how are we going to change anything.
    @ the author
    I really appreciate your effort. It’s sad that although our society prides itself on their morals what goes under ground is very different.Recommend

  • http://www.nerdcrunch.com Moderate

    “Prostitution, whether it is legal or not in various countries, is a form of discrimination against humanity. It is degrading, it spreads diseases, and encourages lazy labour. We must put a stop to it.” Brilliantly put!

    What are NGOs doing about it? I havent heard any NGO saying that active measure should be taken to eradicate prostitution, instead they organize shops for sex workers so they can work safely! They only raise voices against underage prostitution. No step is taken to educate prostitutes that they should earn living through other means. NGOs should create funds to pay them monthly so they can take care of themselves and their family and abstain from this degrading occupation.

    It is time that local bodies comprising of elders of society should come forward and take active measure to eradicate this disease.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/ahsanzee Ahsan

    Prostitution might be there all over the world but what makes this whole scenario more deplorable is how we sweep such issues under the rug… our upbringing, out society has conditioned us in such a manner that whenever we hear of such issues our first thought is either: “this happens everywhere (so somehow thats okay)” AND/OR “(as long as I haven’t seen it happening) its not common and the author is making a mountain out of a mole hill”Recommend

  • CB Guy

    A 3rd of NWFP’s men, you mean app 20 million pedophiles. Please check the figures for sense before printing em.Recommend

  • Nimo

    nice article.. but what about the main pic? should have told something about herRecommend

  • Ameera

    I think prostitution and nudism both should be made legal in the country. The crimes we see here everyday stem from the fact that the people are repressed. Recommend

  • Fahad

    Startled by the numbers!
    Also, @Moderate:
    NGOs are doing more than you give them credit for. Look up ‘The “Apni Taleem” Project of SHEED,’ they are NGOs educating children of sex workers at Heera Mandi, and constantly reminding them that they are good people and a valuable part of the society. It is time that we start supporting some of the great work done by these bodies rather than making sweeping statements :)Recommend

  • Someone

    Very well written and shamefully true. We Muslims who wants to take higher Moral ground when it comes to Family Structure are involved in such animalistic acts. Much more, the ones who are the first to kill in the name of Honor are the ones most involved. We are such HypocritesRecommend

  • samia

    As much as everyone here would like to see it prostitution is not becoming legal in Pakistan anytime soon. All our politicians know there are many more mumtaz qadris in making and no one would want to become another salman taseer.
    We need solutions that are more practical and acceptable to our society instead of making sweeping generalizations. Recommend

  • ekbal

    hey now lets not be harsh. They are not lazy labour. They work 9 to 5, the difference is just in ‘am’ and ‘pm’

    But completely agreed with respect to underage sex workers. Steps should be taken to curb it down.Recommend

  • Qasim

    74% University graduates!!?? Only 5% Pakistanis have a university degree. I can’t help but disagree with this statistic.Recommend

  • Somy

    great articleRecommend

  • Gemini MHS

    A well written and well research piece Indeed. Prostitution has also become a norm among educated women working in different organizations who find it easier to please their bosses for meager benefits in Pakistan. Media organizations and major media houses are a hub of such women.Merit is going down to drain and prostitution has become trend of the day for young professionals to sleep their way up. The owners of theses media houses and organizations need to see whats going on among the cadres of their reputed organizations.Recommend

  • Sidra

    Firstly, really upsetting to hear about this. Never knew soo many educated people face such problems as well. I mean it’s a known fact that poor people do so since they need bread, etc to survive…
    @ All those who are all for legalising prostitution: Excuse me, but give me one example of a country in Europe or ANYWHERE in the world for that matter (where it actually works) – that has legalised prostitution!?
    Are you guys sick in the head? Sex is not something to be done for money, you should be able to CHOOSE who to have it with, and in a country like Pakistan what are you guys thinking? -.-
    In my opinion, it should not be allowed anywhere, it’s not only Pakistan where people are tricked/blackmailed/forced into becoming prostitutes. It happens everywhere. Noone does it with their own free will. Geez.Recommend

  • Sidra

    This made me cry. 8 year olds as prostitutes?Recommend

  • A.R

    It’s good to share this information with the people of our country…But the Title is “TOO BAD.” There was no need to add “in the land of the pure” just to get attention and/or ridicule the name of Pakistan.

    Also some things need a reference; for example you mentioned the reference to “Police” being involved with prostitutes but you mentioned “army soldiers” without giving any reference??Recommend

  • Talha

    I agree with Loneliberal PK.

    Prostitution must be legalized.

    Same goes for Alcohol, which prior to its banning in 1978/9, was a great source of tax collections for the government of the land of the pure.

    Gambling too was legal, before the hypocrisy of Bhutto and Gen. Zia destroyed this nation.Recommend

  • Maheen Usmani

    @Aneka The link that you have embedded in this informative blog provides some truly mind boggling stats. http://tribune.com.pk/story/239874/children-sexually-abused-on-streets/
    “According to charities which work to protect street children in Pakistan, up to 90 per cent are sexually abused on the first night that they sleep rough and 60 per cent accuse police of sexually abusing them.”
    How come there is such a large proportion of police wallahs indulging in this kind of sick child abuse? Perhaps it has something to do with their profession? A SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for police? Truly repulsive behaviour from our guardians of law and order. Recommend

  • -ive man

    How Burqa Problem was solved in Turkey

    For those struggling to ban women from wearing Burqua in their countries, Mustafa Kamal, who has a nickname of “Ataturk” and who is the founder of modern Turkey solved the problem in a very wise way. He issued the following decree:

    “With immediate effect, all Turkish women are privileged to wear whatever they choose, however, all prostitutes must wear a burqa!!!

    The very next day, no women in Turkey were seen in a burqa.Recommend

  • TDurrani

    @Loneliberal PK:

    Are you insane. In an muslim country instead of banning and uproot it completely you are suggesting to legalize it altogether. Keep your liberal and unethical views in your pocket. You are just 0.0000001% of the society. Don’t even dare to think to get it implemented.Recommend

  • AliRiaz

    Liberals will even defend this act of Prostitution. This proves their immorality.

    Already we have become a morally bankrupt society by watching American/Indian influenced media and now we are doing this to ourselves.

    Shame on all of us.Recommend

  • S

    @Cynical:
    The reason why it’s a problem is people like you who think that it can’t be a Muslim problem, and then proceed to blame it on other religious groups. When you realize that not all Muslims are perfect, you can start to address the problem.Recommend

  • Usman Zahid

    Plz try to put an end to homosexuality through media campaign n awareness, because in any of its form n shape, its more dangerous n harmful both physically n mentally than conventional sexual infidelity, in this way v would b able to eradicate male prostitution n as far as female prostitution is concerned it would also decrease to very extent by the time when all the women of our country would b independent in decisions making in all matters of their life b it financial,social,educational,religious n to some extent marital affairs also. Than v would b able to get rid of all these big menace of prostitution. May God help us all Pakistanis in this campaign. Amen.Recommend

  • Maheen Usmani

    Where did my comment go, ET? Was it too honest for you to digest, perchance?Recommend

  • Azeem Anwer

    @Ameera:

    I think prostitution and nudism both should be made legal in the country

    Charity starts from the home.Recommend

  • http://kmlgl.wordpress.com/ Komal

    Prostitution exists because patriarchy exists. It is based on men’s presumed sexual access to women (or boys), and is based on men’s ability to coerce women (physically, economically). To seriously challenge prostitution we need to get to the root of the problem, and challenge the patriarchy entirely, which includes femininity, gender roles etc.

    This was a great article. Thanks for writing about such an important topic!Recommend

  • http://kmlgl.wordpress.com/ Komal

    “Prostitution, whether it is legal or not in various countries, is a form of discrimination against humanity. It is degrading, it spreads diseases, and encourages lazy labour.”

    I must say I disagree with this. There is no such thing as ‘discrimination against humanity’, since discrimination involves arbitrarily picking a person or group of people out for special treatment. If the whole of humanity is being ‘discriminated against’, then this implies that there is some other kind of creature which is benefiting from this discrimination/not being discriminated against, but that is clearly not what you are trying to say.

    If you are trying to imply that this is abusive to all humans, then I still disagree. This is oppressive to women in particular: most prostitutes are women everywhere in the world. Women are prostituted because their status under patriarchy is subordinate, and because men believe they are entitled to women’s bodies. Let us not forget that these prostitutes are generally coerced and subject to violence, and this is on top of being ‘rented’ by men to be penetrated by them. That makes it more invasive and violent than if they were being hired to, for example, penetrate others (as some male prostitutes are by other men). Which reminds me: the denial of sexual politics and this pretense that sex is merely natural and benign (rather than political) is part of the reason people are unable to see why prostitution is a problem.

    It is also noteworthy that whatever the sex of the prostitutes, the johns (renters/buyers) are almost always male.

    This is why a serious challenge to prostitution must be based on a challenge to patriarchy, which means challenging femininity, gender roles, heteronormativity, PIV, etc.

    Oh, also: ‘lazy labour’… what? You’re not serious, I hope.Recommend

  • Riaz Shaikh

    Though, I don’t entirely agree as a sane reader with all the facts & figures, posted by the Author of this article, but somehow still feel sad after knowing these facts in general. I know this can not be stopped in one click, it would have to be regulated. As we all can realize that our Govt. won’t take no steps by itself as this issue must lie very low on its priority list. So that leaves NGOs and society in general to mobilize/force for reforms & awareness programs.. huh… What a pity…!!Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed

    Very bold and courageous article, but its just a tip of the iceberg.Recommend

  • ana

    simple rule of economics– Demand creates Supply…unless demand is not curtailed supply will come out anyhow. Sweden has a law which makes it legal to sell sex but illegal to buy sex..it has been one of the most successful approaches to tackle prostitution. Unfortunately in Pakistan, the buyers of sex are seldom held accountable. infact they are often treated as victims..Recommend

  • H
  • Maham

    @Ameera: What are you talking about? Do you even know what nudism is? People like you are just here for senseless commentsRecommend

  • Muhammad Shabbir Yusuf

    Wake up and get out of Denial!!!
    @Cynical: Recommend

  • Vaqar

    @Cynical:

    Why you all think that all the Muslims are as pure as a ‘farista’?

    Let us presume that your ‘thought’ is correct, who are the clients then?Recommend

  • Saad Khan Tareen

    “bahabazi” associated with Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa? Its hillarious that a general perception of pathans being bachabaz is reflected in this article. I have spent alot of times in different areas of pakistan. Never i found any indifference in the amount of “bachabazi” from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. The problem here seems to be author’s inconvenience to quote the actual data in this regard or I believe (if the data is present), it is collected from the most effected area of Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa.Recommend

  • http://www.moizsays.blogspot.com/ Moiz

    The irony when people say homosexuality is haraam and “wajib-ul-qatl” while 33% are proud pedophiles.Recommend

  • Farhan

    the article brings up a valid issue, and very informative yet the author failed to see this problem as global…..with all the evils that it carries..in my opinion…this is a global problem and no country is free of this “prostitution issue”..be it Silicon Valley’s classified high priced escorts, not to mention if they are from Asia…most probably they are working as human slaves; or the women from slave markets of China, India, Combodia, and Vietnam. Who doesn’t know about filthy rich Sheikhs of oil rich Gulf countries….Who doesnt know the Camel Jockeys in middle east come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even from Philipines mind it some of the sponsors of those camel race are fortune 500 companies from civilized nations…..So even though I agree with the author that this problem exits in Pakistan, I personally do not think that it only exists in Pakistan…if you go into stats per capita, i bet this problem is even worse in some of the more populous countries like India, China, and Far East region in aggregate, On the same note, I find it interesting that some of the biggest known child and women prostitution markets exist in Mumbai, Dubai, Las Vegas, Manila, and Bangkok which the author even fails to mention…I have yet to see anything that comes close to these cities…..anyone? Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Komal,
    Prostitution is not based on patriarchy, but a biological instinct to seek out sexual gratification. It’s called “the world’s oldest profession”, and traces of it precede any established patriarchy.

    In any culture, any country, you will find an abundance of men or women looking for paid sex.

    However, patriarchy certainly worsens the working conditions for the prostitutes.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Author:

    It is degrading, it spreads diseases,
    and encourages lazy labour.and encourages lazy labour.

    I deducted 2 stars from my rating just because of this ignorant bit at the end of an otherwise informative piece.

    Hospitals spread diseases! Barbers spread diseases! Food venues even! The issue is not the industry itself, but the complete lack of government regulation. And know that regulations are always more practical than banning.

    And no, it’s not lazy labour. Prostitution is not an easy business and it drains the very life and soul out of you. For many women, it’s the only way to go. If anything, I find begging more degrading than prostitution.Recommend

  • Farhan

    yeah yeah…Prostitution in Pakistan….yeah yeah UN Stats…hush hush…lets not talk women and chil slaves in Manila, Dubai, “legal Hookers” in Amsterdam, Porn Kingdoms in europe and americas, prostitutes in bangalore, mumbai, new delhi…still hush hush…lets not talk about escorts in Civilized World….just stay focused on “Prostitution in Peshawar”….What a dimwit way of looking at things…i must say.Recommend

  • ayesha

    @CB Guy:
    “A 3rd of NWFP’s men, you mean app 20 million pedophiles. ”
    The author’s numbers maybe off but so are yours. According to you KP has 60 million adult men (for a thord to equate to 20 milion – this statement would have to be true). Assuming that it has an equal number of women, KP has 120 million adultsor around 150-160 million total population including kids. This does not tie with the fact that Pakstan’s total population is 180 million and 60% of it lives in Punjab.Recommend

  • ayesha

    @Sidra:
    :@ All those who are all for legalising prostitution: Excuse me, but give me one example of a country in Europe or ANYWHERE in the world for that matter (where it actually works) – that has legalised prostitution!?”
    Prostitution is LEGA and regulated in Canada, most all of Europe including England, France, Wales, Denmark, Netherlands etc., most of South America including most of Mexico (often in special zones), Brazil, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries.Recommend

  • Mazhar

    Lets be frank and accept the “modern realities” and request our government to open the following

    Ministry of Prostitution
    Ministry of Gays and Lesbian.
    Ministry of Transgenders
    Ministry of Modern and moderate thinkers who all blame that the evil lies on with the state of Pakistan and Islam is root cause to every problem. So lets finish this failed, corrupt and non-westernized state from the map of world
    Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    @AliRiaz:

    Dude, the American and Indian Media doesn’t encourage Pakistanis to search for perverted sexual phrases on Google. This perversion exists not only in Pakistan but also Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. Do you see the trend?

    Prostitution is the oldest profession in the World. I say make it legal. Recommend

  • http://utterlyurban.com/%e2%80%9cah-f-ck-it%e2%80%9d-lee-corso%e2%80%99s-f-bomb-a-source-of-delight-for-many/ Corso

    someone mentioned above that prostitution and nudism should be legalized in this country. seriously? do u really believe that’s the key to all our problems? think again. legalizing both will only cause extremists to cause harm to the general and innocent masses. those who derive pleasure from prostitution and need it get it from somewhere or the other anyway. the fact that its illegal doesn’t stop them. so why should innocent people suffer its consequences if it’s legalized. u have some serious issues.
    To the writer: good write upRecommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Farhan,

    As a Pakistani, it is the problems faced by Pakistan that are of foremost concern to me and my fellow patriots. If there are problems in Dubai and Manila also, let the people of Dubai and Manila handle them.Recommend

  • Amir h

    In Pakistan, the topic of prostitution is taboo – one that is hardly ever discussed. . . . What a joke. . All I see in pakistani dramas and on express tribune is sex, prostitution, gay/lesbianism. . Can u plz read up the definition of tabooRecommend

  • http://www.oocities.org/~oldbrit/Keatonpies.html Custard Pie Chucker

    Your article was going well until the last moralizing preachy paragraph.

    Unfortunately, sex is not a product that you can collect in an evidence bag and present in court and prove a case. If the sellers and buyers of sex are willing and consenting, then short of bugging and recording the entire conversation and act on tape, there is nothing you can do to enforce such a law. Absolutely nothing. In Sweden since 1999 when their prostitution laws came about, there have been less than 100 cases brought to court and only 4 convictions of which all of were self-confessed. Do we really want our police to spend their time bugging and video recording consenting prostitutes and their clients?

    The whole Swedish stance on the sex trade was politically motivated and is being projected as a great success but those who have looked at the subject objectively are finding many, many faults with it. The first being that it drives the trade underground, increases risk-taking behavior by prostitutes who no longer take the time to screen clients, more STD’s, increases in violent and perverted clientele, increase in rent-pimps, and social services no longer being able to access active prostitutes. Prostitutes are also less likely to report violent behavior as they depend on such clients for their source of income. Aside from that, courts in general are always against setting precedents punishing the buyers side for an illegal activity as it opens the door for all kinds of crime where it is then easier to punish the purchaser of something illegal than the seller. Since the law came out in Sweden and even now, there are many active and retired judges claiming that the law is unenforceable.

    Where efforts must be concentrated, is where cases are actually provable such as under-aged activity, trafficking, pimping, coercion as there is then a case that is actionable in court and a chance that a witness will testify against the illegal activity.Recommend

  • nationpride

    Alas!

    I read the article and then read the comments.

    Just by looking at the topic ” land of pure”, caught attention of my eyes, It made me wonder why was it choosen, what this tittle want to portray, what comparisions and conclusion it want to draw…

    I am not aware of the source of the stats but few things were mind boogling; every third person in KP is a pedophillic, 75 percent of university graduate sexually abused, more than 50 percent of the kids in a survey were abused; having some background in research before you write an article you better define the patients population, the sample you have included for that research should represent the general population.

    For example, if a survey says amongst 300 woman, 97 percent of woman were used for sexual commersialism. The conclusion you must have drawned in the back of your head must be, what the heck is wrong with the society!!!!! Dear friend all the 300 woman included in the study had profession of prostitution, there is no rocket science in understanding the example above. So please before refereing to stats and writing whole article about it, try to understand it yourself.

    About legalizing prostitution. Please apply it to your own houses first. That is all I want to say. For those who are giving examples of the west. My dear friends before you jump to conclusions try to be aware of the cons. Those countries who have legalized such acts are in the whirlpool of social disaster, they are on the brink of social collapse, where none of their own family member is safe in the society. Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Not to worry … Prostitution in Pakistan will die its own death … with the ongoing Enlightened Modernization in educational institutions and rampant free sex available for a meager amount upload in mobile phones shall expedite this death process !!! not to forget the maids and working girls available in the houses aka modern day “laundiyaan” are also an important factor in fulfilling this process …. Recommend

  • Farhan

    @Anoop

    What a sick way of analyzing things you have….so now you are telling me “people searching for porn are bad” i dont care wherever they are searching it from…and the servers hosting these porn contents are just fine….if this is how you are going to analyze things then i rest my case. Please look at it from this perspective…Kill the cigarette, you dont have smokers…..but if you just blame “smokers”, and not the cigarette manufacturing industry; i will not buy your arguments. Please re-evaluate the way you look at things. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    @Farhan:

    “so now you are telling me “people searching for porn are bad” i dont care wherever they are searching it from”

    Read my comment again. I said perverted sexual phrases. To be specific what I am talking about is this:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/12/data-shows-pakistan-googling-pornographic-material/

    Searching for “Dog sex” is perverted in my book, dont you think?

    If you read my comments on previous blogs concerning this topic you will realize I am a liberal when it comes to sex. I proudly came from the land of the Kamasutra, as have you. But, searching for “donkey sex” is not pornography. This is sexual perversion caused by the suppression of sexual behavior in a conservative society.

    Let me repeat for the sake of clarity. Sex is not a sin or a crime, only when it is forced. Sex between Human Beings and its expression in a myriad ways are fine, but I dont think much about inter-species intercourse. Recommend

  • Shahid3

    @Ameera, nudism or lack of bodily shame is an unremarkable part of life in many European countries, but it can also be a powerful statement against patriarchal hypocrisy as the brave Egyptian blogger Aliaa Mahdy proved last week:

    When Mohammed Bouazizi, fed up with humiliation, repression and poverty, set himself on fire in Tunisia last January, essentially taking state abuse to its logical end, he ignited the revolutionary imagination of the Middle East and north Africa. Aliaa Mahdy, fed up with hypocrisy and sexual repression, undressed. She is the Molotov cocktail thrown at the Mubaraks in our heads – the dictators of our mind – which insists that revolutions cannot succeed without a tidal wave of cultural changes that upend misogyny and sexual hypocrisy.

    Recommend

  • Farhan

    @Loneliberal PK

    you missed it dear….the point i made by mentioning these sex-tourism cities of the world is that the author overblew the problem in KP province of Pakistan when compared to some of these cities of the world….and as very well put by some of other readers, the stats mentioned by the author do not add up at all…..to further add to you concern on Pakistan’s major issues that should be addressed on priority basis…keeping in view my observation on Pakistan Affairs, the most important thing that Pakistan needs right now is political stability and rule of law….rest will come with it. So while the Pakistanis are focussing on bringing “a positive change” to their political stage – please sit back, relax, and take a chill pill for a little while…..if you want to clean up on prostitution, I would start with Vegas…will be closes to you if you live in silicon valley :PRecommend

  • H

    what the hell are all these comments implying that “not being a backwards homophobic transphobic fundie asshat is going to cause the death of Pakistan” and “Not discriminating on the basis of sexuality is a WESTERN idea and is thus automatically terrible” doing HERE? (Yes, I’m looking at you, “Mazhar”)

    Anyway, seems like a couple of people realize that we should probably LET this be legal. The “religious” fundies who think letting people choose to be able to do things can just sit and marinate in their own stench for all I care.Recommend

  • Mohammad Abbas

    Very informative article. And we wonder y we are so decadent….shame on us!Recommend

  • lodhi

    In USA prostitution is legal only in Las Vegas State.In our society segregation between men and women has increased this problem.Sex is so common in relatives and acquaintances.In Arab countries which I have traveled sex is forbidden but its so rampant. The husbands have to lock the house when he leaves for work.Recommend

  • Vigilant

    Well written Article……..but do not agree with statics provided in the blog as actual situation is different
    Pic used is a depiction of female prostitute but the article is about male prostitution…..
    In blog word “bachabazi”…..made me laugh …. :) as well as 1/3rd of KP males are proud of pedophiles…… :) …… as joke one of my friend who belongs to KP said that in some areas of KP birds fly with one wing…..i asked why?…..he said to keep themselves safe from pervs….. :) Recommend

  • fsmalick

    im sorry but your figures seem made up and a bit exaggerated…the issue is serious enough you didnt need to blow it up a bit for people to take notice. Recommend

  • fsmalick

    @lodhi:
    seriously bro? husbands have to lock their houses when they leave…and what do they do? make a pit top after work, yeah? lets not give examples of arab countries here where teh solution of every problem is “lock the women awaayy!!” Recommend

  • Sana khaan-e-taqdees-e-mashriq kahan hein?

    Sana khaan-e-taqdees-e-mashriq kahan hein?Recommend

  • Aneka Chohan

    Dear readers, thank you for your comments. In regards to the heading, the ‘land of the pure’ was not demean the name of Pakistan but to create awareness upon the irony. Our country is a pure land and ought to cherished as a pure land but with something as blackening as prostitution thriving in our country, it seems quite the opposite.

    Also, regarding the final paragraph about putting a stop to the profession, this is something that will be achieved through the efforts of us all together. Prostitution is a issue that is hardly discussed in the open and firstly, we need to create awareness about this subject and show how damaging it is for our society. Then, from there, we can move on to the next step to decreasing prostitution. The reason why it is thriving is because we let it. It is not just the government but the nation too. The government is quiet and has hardly gathered any research and statistics (any statistics written were from NGOs and human right groups – I am not making up any stats or anything) but where does that leave us, the people? We’re not exactly doing much of an effort are we?

    This blog post is based on research and evidence and nothing whatsoever is made up. Anything that I was unable to find, or according to my contacts, wasn’t confirmed, I have made it clear – regarding the part about children saying that police and army officers are their significant clients, I made it clear that the children “allege” that this is the case. In short, they claim it to be so. This piece of writing is a opinion and research-based article and it wasn’t my intention to demean the reputation of Pakistan, Pakistanis, Islam or Muslims. Rest assured. Recommend

  • Usama Khan

    Deserve to be appreciated. A topic that really needs attention.Recommend

  • Azhar

    Ha ha ha Interesting, but its just one sided view, those are doing this practice (Chokraybaz, Zanakar) are also in trouble and they have also facing problems, so if anybody want to stop this practice, first resolve the problems of those peoples they are involved on the other hand. Recommend

  • http://www.usmanfarooq.com Usman Farooq

    Children who are forced to do this have no intentions though who think that this can be stopped i do ask them if they can stop someone from harassing them when the convict has a gun in his hand or is paying the child 5 thousand rupees i.e. to a child who barely earns less than 50 rupees a day… People need to grow up and instead of talking should take some steps for the betterment of this country and its economy and start working for its welfare.Recommend

  • Carlo

    BravaRecommend

  • Saad Hassan Khan

    @Uncle J:

    Yes and nothing good ever does happen in Pakistan.

    @Cynical: (Only one of many others holding similar views)

    I laud you sir, great work, you have successfully managed to humiliate Muslims and Pakistanis, congrats. Please enlighten me as to what these shameful personal acts of people have to do with our religion or our country? Surely these kinds of things never happen in the developed world which we all unceasingly revere and bow down to, right?Recommend

  • ali

    Through a study, the National
    Coalition of Child Rights and the
    United Nations International
    Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
    discovered that a third of the men
    living in NWFP were proud to be
    pedophiles. Another 11% thought there
    was nothing wrong with this practice.

    I dont know what methods were used to come to this conclusion but I believe they were completely flawed. Do you even know what that means? A THIRD OF ALL MEN IN NWFP ARE PROUD TO BE PEDOPHILES? BIGGEST JOKE OF THE CENTURY!!

    If 33% are proud pedophiles, then why only 11 % think there is nothing wrong with it? Shouldn’t at least 33 % think nothing wrong with it if they are ‘PROUD PEDOPHILES’??

    Utterly idiotic arguments and statistics.Recommend

  • IRFAN

    This is land of pure..
    there is a dilemma with being a citizen of pure land..you can not discuss social taboos. Thumbs up for Aneka Chohan for articulating a plague in our society in the most efficient manner.Recommend

  • Concerned Citizen

    @Loneliberal PK:
    I dont agree with your thoughts of legalizing the sex industry. We live in an Islamic society and it doesn’t mean that if legalizing the trade makes administration easy, then we should do it. There is a framework within which we have to make laws and try to control the menace in our society.

    Apart from the Shariah Laws, it won’t fit right for our society if such a profession is made legal because then we would be encouraging people to take it up. You can think of the cultural dilemma that it will bring as well.Recommend

  • Hassan

    It is indeed a very sad state. Out television channels are brimming with all kind of religiosity. Our mullah’s are rampant and yet we are getting these statistics. One thing this article did not touch upon was the the sexual conduct in the madrissahs, i am sure when i say this people would think that i am making a cheap jab at the religion but the fact is that repression causes people to implode in such beastly behaviour.Recommend

  • Obaidullah

    Okay I’m trying really hard to hold myself from breaking into a frenzy of laughter after reading this madness. I mean even if you want to put up statistics, try putting up realistic numbers for a change. I mean saying that one third of KP are pedophiles is plain “STUPID” and then going on to state that three quarters of the prostitutes are university graduates all go on to contradict the point made about it being very difficult to gather statistics about such things! No pedophile in this country would admit to it and neither does the righter have solid study proof to the random numbers provided! Recommend

  • MALLU

    If u gonna relay on govrmnt thn i guess u need 2 wa8 for the next 50 years more.The solution as far as i can think is that bring change in urself 1st then criticise.One can never direct implement a change ,it takes time 2 penetrate,spread this awareness to the gross root level,if Govt. have 2 do something 2 bring this change then she has 2 reduce unemployment rate first but v knw that it will take some time,so b patience and start teaching ur children 2 respect every creature of ALLAH, from the beginning tell them wot is wrong and wot is good for them,tell them that always keep the HAYYA factor in ur eyes,inshort brought up ur child with desi moral values other thn following the so called VILAYTI STUFF.Recommend

  • Critic

    Someone rightly said that “Half-truths are more dangerous than lies”. Such articles with unauthentic and unreliable data do not help in resolving the issue but further intensify it by specifically focusing on a particular ethnic group—-the victim always being the Pushtoon population of KPK. I don’t know which KPK the author had been to (and I am absolutely sure she only saw it in the maps) but the KPK I live in for the past 22 years is not what the author is describing as. “Every third person…..” does the author even know what does it mean? It means at least one of my family member is a child molester.I wrote a research paper on the topic of “child sex offenders” and came up with some striking and shocking data which completely negated the stereotypes against the Pushtoons. It doesn’t mean that Pashtoons are a pure ethnic group with no cases of child prostitution but stereotyping them as “bachabaaz” is something that needs attention. It is because of this misconception and stereotyping that I receive a dozen text messages everyday which contains a joke about Pathans being “Bachaabaz”. I have met thousands of Pathans during my life belonging to different tribes but not even heard a single case of older people keeping a child as sex partner. A society where “ghairaat” is the most precious thing, there is very little place for something as dirty and pathetic as child prostitution. Perhaps the KPK I live in is different from the KPK the author is describing. Recommend

  • Farhan

    Dear Author – Please comment on this documentary of CNN…this is with respect to CNN hero of 2010 who saved hundred of girls from being trafficed to brothels of India….please try to understand what I am pleading here…that instead of overblowing the problem in Pakistan…please for crying out loud….look around and see beyond the well you have been digging in…..

    here is the link where CNN is urging INDIA to stop the drug trafficing woman sex slaves from Nepal to the brothels of India.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNDQcnYAgnE

    And dear moderator…please do not disservice your readers by not providing them access to this comment…the above link exactly proves my point where I insist that the author of this blog not only presented the numbers that do not add up at all, but also failed to inform the readers on where this illness has risen to extremes….please do not ignore this read.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Saad Hassan Khan

    Please read my post again.I have specifically named Jews and Hindus responsible for these immoral activities.And you accuse me of humiliating the Muslims and Pakistanis.
    I am sorry, take some english lessons. Recommend

  • ukmuslim

    @author
    increadible work. this is what i will call research, analysis and presentation.
    this menace needs to tackle effectively. and you are really doing a good job, by opening the eyes of the society. i wish you to take more responsibility globally (atleast in subcontinent) by rising above country and religion. sane people will welcome and support you.Recommend