Talking about the taboo…

Every city has this tale which it hides in it’s heart like a secret which is open to all yet a taboo to discuss. Some time back a magazine asked me to write on this issue. I did my basic research but then refused having the “taboo” thought in my mind.(But then what is not a taboo in this society: bribery, corruption…. and the ones involved yet to be respected then why not talk about this).
As a Muslim state, Pakistan does not legally allow prostitution but it is practiced in almost all cities, small or big of the country.

Today while going through the city news of “The News”, I came across this article that says about the red light districts in Karachi and talks about what and how are these FSW’s (Female sex workers) encouraged to do so.

Unfortunately as Karachi developed economicaly so did the market for prostitution and now has become one of the major marketsfor commercial sex in the country, where girls as young as 14 can be purchased from as low as 100 rupees depending upon the client, the service demanded, the location, and the girl’s physical attributes.

A wide variety of girls from all over the country (and different nations) can be found in Karachi’s commercial sex market. There was a time when Russian women were very much “in” the market. Now Afghani and Bengali women are into this business.

Just like other professions there’s a market and the business fluctuates with time on the basis of demand and supply and is almost (yes, not completely) down during Ramzan.

The pimps are the ones who protect supply girls and apart from providing business to the FSW’s give them protection and security from the police. Need not to mention the high class influential people involved in this business.
In some cases girls are rented out by their poor families to pimps for a time period (usually quarterly basis) on a handsome amount. But in most cases girls adopt this business to provide bread and butter to the families where no one else can take the responsibility.
Cell phones have provided ease to this business. The lady “brokers” who usually own a car (who provide girls in the posh localities) start getting calls on the cell phones in evening and then they go on the mission of dropping girls on the address provided. This is done through contacts. The “better” network you have better girl will be provided. Rates are off course not a big issue for the people who contact such pimps.
Alcohol and drugs are used on a large scale by these workers.
Unfortunately, we live in a place where any thing can be sold, depending on the price paid for it.

14 Comments so far

  1. faylasuf (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

    This is an old article..hv already read it before

  2. unaiza nasim (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

    Any refrence please? There might be different versions of teh smae story but this post has been written by me.

  3. VOICE OF HUMANITY (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

    Unaiza FAisul is right this is an old article , here on KMB it was discussed before , u should be a shamed of doing pilgrimism, and shame on your ill mentality , go and have a life.

  4. Immad (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

    Folks , old or new , it’s a good article, bringing out the ground realities of the city of lights. I definitely agree with what it says towards the end , some blame does fall on the media too.The question then is , have things gone too far or is there still something that can be done?

  5. YesSir (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 7:40 pm


    It is a sad side of our society. Although, it is a rampant part of the whole globe today, but still something that should bother every civil society.

    look at this….

  6. Dee (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 8:14 pm

    I think Mansoor wrote a piece on this very subject in detail on KMB.But regardless of that prostitution is still the same problem.What i dont understand is your “Intent” of writing this piece.Do you want to inform us about this issue or do you have any solution to solve this problem?

  7. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

    unaiza – my post is held ? or you have deleted it

  8. Imran of Zorpia (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

    Excellent article Unaiza & i read every word (because it has a woman’s perspective).

    Your article made me think what life must be like for someone selling their body to many. It made me think about the the “accident of birth”. Just consider how strange and chanceful a person’s birth into this World is! One girl happens to be born in our (own) family & becomes our sister … while another girl is born in someone else’s family under less fortunate circumstances and may end up being used, to satisfy our physical pleasures.

    Because no one chooses or decides WHERE they will be born, if we just exchange the two girls, the prosttute as our sister and our sister as a prostitute … the mere thought of this exchange will fill our hearts and minds with pain!

    That said, prostitution remains as the ‘oldest profession’ in the World, irregardless of geographical locations, religions or cultures. And ironically it is not a dilemma because like everything in life it has both sides of the story. One side of the picture are those selling their body by choice, because everything we do whether it is by will or it is by compulsion (poverty etc), is ultimately a CHOICE! The other side of the story are those buying someone’s body for money. And i think what brings these buyers and sellers together in case of prostitution is a very low self-esteem.

    So i pray for all broken people to heal their souls and mend their low self-esteem and give themsleves a “second birth” … and this new birth only they can create by giving themsleves a better start in life.

  9. SSUETian (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

    the original article was named “supply and demand” i have downloaded it from some website and i have that article on my pc. i can send you the link if you are interested.

  10. faylasuf (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 5:28 pm


    i did not intend to say that u v cheated sum how, cuz i cant recall name of the author.

    and by saying that I v read it before i mean i v read “exact article”, not that i v read “similar article”. i cant precisely recall right now.. but if my memory servs me right it was in dawn mag , I will check the old article stock as i get home and paste the ref here if the lucky paper has survived :)

    my point here is not that plagiarism is involved, i only want to point out that an article which has been published already shud hav sum reference quoted. NFP has a habit of givin his old articles to dawn or the news, which i personally dont like, yes every one is entitled to hav an opinion.

    oh and yea the subject is serious and sensitive.

    all the best

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    Unaiza, you ate up my post,….. ! Grrrrr! (:
    hazam kar lee na!

  12. karachian (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 8:05 pm

    the posts make ur write-up a bit doubtful… otherwise it is one of the best articles i have ever read on this business in karachi

  13. Reality_Check (unregistered) on December 11th, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

    No one has depicted the scenes from Bazaar-e-Husn more beautifully in poetry than Sahir in his famous poem “Chackle”. Here are the links to that remarkable nazm, in both nastaaleekh and roman urdu.–.html

  14. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 12th, 2007 @ 12:47 am

    Mirza Ruswa’s Umrao Jan Ada is also a masterpiece. Offcourse not poetry.

    Speaking of Sahir, I remember I used to like his two ghazals which were really classics. (“Chalo ek bar phir se” which was a filmi song too)

    and (Farar)

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