Supply and Demand

A look at karachi’s otherside..

Britain’s colonial legacy in Pakistan left a thriving but dark commercial sector in the country’s capital, Karachi. Massoud Ansari investigates the city’s desperate marketplace that trades in young women…

Read more here

39 Comments so far

  1. ALAM (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 12:47 am

    Not sure why this “deflowering a virgin” is considered such an esteemed job in Muslim socities. A Virgin gives u the hardest time, ruins ur night, and wastes ur money.

    If only suicide bombers would know about it, they won’t commit suicide for even 1 vurgin, much less 72

  2. Claude Almansi (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 3:36 am

    I don’t know about Muslim societies, Alam. In the West, it has to do with power and not with sensual pleasure. The local lords had “droit de cuissage” or “first night’s right”, meaning they were entitled to deflower all brides in their fiefdom. So something stuck and Western men with a fixation on virginity feel like little feudal lords.

    Could there be the same kind of cultural power archetype in Muslim societies too? Sure, it seems to go against the tenets of Islam. But then it also goes against the official tenets of Christianism.

    Re the 72 virgins, I am not a Muslim, but I was under the impression that deceased men were not meant to have physical intercourse with these virgins, as they can’t carry the needed appendix in Paradise. In a spiritual intercourse, a hymen does not matter, unless these ladies wear it on their mind.

  3. ALAM (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 4:07 am

    Bonjour monsieur !

    Well, Islam has always flourished in tribal societies (Waziristan for nowadays, earlier Quresh tribes of Arabia), so ur sociological explanation seems valid here.

    Re the 72 virgins:
    Nah, intercourse is very much intended purpose. Those given virgins, have been promised a lot of power to satisfy the women…it is not in Quran…but a lot of Muhammed’s sayings.

  4. Claude Almansi (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 5:23 am

    Assalamu alaikum, Syed Alam

    Thank you for your answer. I am baffled by the logistic implications, though, unless a strong percentage goes to the other place after death. Because if even only half of the trespassed since Adam go to Paradise with their body and each has 72 virgins with their body, it makes a lot of bodies.
    Another thing puzzles me: what solace is foreseen for deceased ladies in Paradise?

    Khuda Hafiz

    Claude (btw, I’m a woman)

  5. ALAM (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 5:36 am

    Je m’excuse madame !

    Haha,,,as they say, u r skinning the hair, ok, splitting the hair :)

    >> what solace is foreseen for deceased ladies in Paradise?

    No one has ever thought of satisfying the good muslim women in paradise…they will probably go to their husbands, and share them with other women.

    Re: Your mathematical puzzle on men-women balance in paradise

    But 72 virgins are not supposed to come from the world. They r supposed to be created on demand, for the blessed man in paradise.

  6. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 8:56 am

    I would nt blame Britishers for anything. Everyone
    got equal amount of brain cells. Use it or loose it (excuse my french)

  7. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 10:26 am

    Thank you Mansoor for sharing, I found an article very informative.

  8. Aish (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

    why did you in the first place gave this opportunity, to these non muslims/ Anti – islam Idiots, to ridicule Islam yet again???? what difference you have made by bringing it all up??? everyone knows that these things do happen however civil the society is..but this article actually gave insight on how to approach a call girl. So many young fresh minds, who might not have such an “informative insight” into the subject before, have now found very good info on on how to go about it..and yet many naive minds are part of KMB too..i really felt ashamed and brazen after going thru this article and most of All, the comments of these two Stupid persons,spec Alam who never misses a chance to make fun of muslims and Islam..For god sake, we are an ISLAMIC matter how bad things are turning to, people like you should always strive to make a difference, to make things better.Pakistan was founded in the name of Islam, please try to maintain our identity and dont go very far in the name of “modern healthy debate and open society”. Howeever if you cannot put a stop to Alam and the outpouring of his Atheist belief, atleast dont give him a topic to spring up and act crazy eyt again..Please consider, this is not a criticism,just a plea from a Muslim to another Muslim.

  9. Concerned (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 5:19 pm


    Who are you to question any ones belief, agreed some stuff Alam said wasnt all tht great but he has a right to. this is wht a healthy debate is, its sort of funny as well. good time pass.

    And these things happen, and they should be discussed, burying your head in sand will not make them go away, either face reality or go lock yourelf in a room and never come out.

    And dont worry, the young minds prob know more then you. Now if Mansoor had given Auntie shamim’s number then tht would have been another thing..

    And for your info this country belongs to everyone, read papa Quaids speech again we were supposed to a secular state dont know how we got the name Islamic republic. tht is sort of contradictory isnt it?

  10. Dee (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 6:31 pm

    Thanks Mansoor for sharing this article.I wish i can say this article was informative.This article pose such a rosy picture of prostitution that i came so close to support it.But what this article does not talk about is AIDS, Violence and dead end for those women involved.

    I remembered i watched two documentaries one was “Born in Brothels” and other woman was CNN i forgot the name but it was about prostitution in Iran.

    I remember talking to friend and she leashed out on me when i mention that in India prostitution is legal and shame on her if she says its good for those who involved.She then gave a lecture on how legalization is gave those women a chance to demand safe sex and how they have pension plans so down the road when they dont have business they will not die like a dog.

    To be honest with you folks i will rather have it leglized and gave those tortured souls a second chance rather than let them die a miserable death or worst miserable life.As prostitution is very active in our Pak land so if you cant curb it better come up with lesser evil alternative.


  11. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 7:25 pm

    The Qur’an mentions that people going to heaven receive untouched maidens. Untouched is referring to purity and their dedication to you. It’s definitely not meant in a sexual way as anyone who has studied Islam will tell you that these types of desires and physical relationships will not exist in heaven.
    The idea is that if you go to heaven, you will have servants who will take care of you. The Western propoganda machine started these stories in order to delegitimize revoultionary movements around the world. Now when a Palestinian does a bombing, it is not because of Israeli aggression, or his home being bulldozed, etc., it is because he wants his virgins.

    Good way to deflect criticism from your own actions.

  12. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

    And as for the prostitution article, I think it is a reality that we must accept, that every society around the world has prostitution. No matter how virtuous a society claims to be or whatever, prostitution is everywhere and will most likely always exist everywhere. To deal with the situation, a realistic approach must be taken. In the West, a lot of women are prositutes out of choice (not including the ones who are smuggled in from outside), but in poorer countries it is mostly either out of coercion or necessity (as is happening with Iraqi refugees in Jordan now). I’m sure there are those who choose to do it as well. But the problem is that, there don’t seem to be enough resources to take care of the average citizens in Pakistan (or resources being mismanaged).
    And a message to Alam, I respect your right to hate Islam, but I don’t think you should make comments about Islamic philosophy unless you know what you are talking about. I know you will continue doing it, maybe it makes you feel good, but an educated person would not speak unless they know what they are talking about.

  13. kads (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    *comment moderated due to hate speech against another religion*

  14. kads (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

    Now coming back to the main topic that Alam tried to hijack with his crusade against islam.

    As opposed to hinduism, trading in women is unislamic. And the guys in karachi that prey on these women are mostly those that have lost all concept of morality and religion. The morons should be booted hard on the ass. Both the pimps and the clients that prey on these women should be rounded up and made to sell their own bodies to Gays. Only then might they realise the folly of their ways.

  15. pkhan (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

    To Alam and Claude(SHE!)
    Islam has allowed man to marry more than one woman but has put serious restrictions on this. It requires agreement of the new wife, his ability to maintain more than one wife, equality among the wives, etc. It is for this reason that very few Muslim men marry more than one woman. Islam has allowed this to man to curb illicit sex. Illicit sex is a very degenerating thing for humanity and leads to debasement of women through prostitution. Islam has totally rejected prostitution.

  16. RockOnKarachi (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 9:29 pm


    ROCK ON MAN!!! I liked your message to that EMO guy Alam “I respect your right to hate Islam, but I don’t think you should make comments about Islamic philosophy unless you know what you are talking about. I know you will continue doing it, maybe it makes you feel good, but an educated person would not speak unless they know what they are talking about.”

    *comment edited: reason – personal attack*

    Inshallah there will be a day when Karachi will shine like the Islamic Cordoba city used to…



  17. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on November 1st, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

    *moderated: reason – personal attack*

  18. ALAM (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 12:26 am

    bhayaon aur bibion,

    don’t lynch me.

    >> Inshallah there will be a day when Karachi will shine like the Islamic Cordoba city used to…

    Bhai, first take care of Cordoba city, then come to Karachi

    >>> And a message to Alam, I respect your right to hate Islam, but I don’t think you should make comments about Islamic philosophy unless you know what you are talking about

    Bhai, I know a lot. What are u questioning? Reda the Quranic verses

  19. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 2:00 am

    You yourself are showing you don’t know a lot with your statements. I have read the verses and the tafsir and studied Islam formally for a number of years. I’m not claiming to know everything, but regarding this matter, I do know enough to refute your claim. You claim to know “a lot” but if your knowledge about Islam in general is like your knowledge about this particular subject, I would conclude that you don’t know anything about Islam besides what you have “heard” or what you think. I don’t want to get into any insults or anything, but to claim you know “a lot” about Islam is ridiculous. Where did you study Islam? What did you study? In order to study Islam, you have to study the Qur’an including Tafsir of the Qur’an, Hadith, the difference in strong and weak hadith, the difference in the narrators of Hadith, the period in time that a specific surah was revealed, the circumstances under which they were revealed among other things. Every statement you have made regarding Islam would indicate
    a)That you have never studied Islam in your life
    b)You are not Muslim, but are so insecure in being an athiest (or whatever you claim to be) that every statement you make has to be related to Islam in some way, and you insult Islam and Muslims in general so much, that the only thing that can be concluded is that you are dying for attention and will say anything to get it or that you have a superiority complex and like to think of yourself as smarter than everyone around you by stating that they are all stupid and you are the one genius for rejecting religion.
    Fahad Khan

  20. ALAM (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 2:16 am

    OK, refute this Hadith:

    (In Paradise, the believer will be given such and such strength for women.) Anas said, “I asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! Will one be able to do that’ He said,

    «يُعْطَى قُوَّةَ مِائَة»

    (He will be given the strength of a hundred (men).)” At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said, “Sahih Gharib.” Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah was asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Will we have sexual intercourse with our wives in Paradise” The prophet said,

    «إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَصِلُ فِي الْيَوْمِ إِلَى مِائَةِ عَذْرَاء»

    (The man will be able to have sexual intercourse with a hundred virgins in one day.) Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi said, “In my view, this Hadith meets the criteria of the Sahih, and Allah knows best.” Allah’s statement,

  21. kads (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 2:37 am

    Why would anyone try to refute the hadith???? Sexual prowess is a blessing of God and we are glad as muslims that we have plenty of it here in this world and will have more of everything in heaven.

    *comment edited: reason – hate mongering*

  22. Balma (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 2:40 am

    Alam, your next stop should be on urine drinking ahaadees. And, what was that ‘hadith’ word for?
    Most ahaadees can not be trusted because they were written 200-300 years after Prophet Muhammad’s death. Untiel then, they were word of mouth. This is like, if I try to collect the sayings of Tipu Sultan or Jahandar Shah (do burgers know who these guys were?) Anyway, I hope people will get the point. And at least in the last 2/3 hundred years, even in India we had printing press, paper, writing instruments. I don’t even think they had paper in Arabia in 7th century! So, it ws mostly word of mouth.

  23. ALAM (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 3:07 am

    @BALMA and others

    Bhai logon,

    I was accused of lying, and I simply said no, Islamic sources compiled over centuries have contained these ahadees (sorry, balma). So I am citing your own sources, not like CNN, or Israeli sources, etc

    Now, if u refute these sources, go and burn them…just don’t lynch me over citing them.

    And I agree with Balma, that these ahadees can’t be trusted. But as I said this earlier, these ahadees (fake or real) show the tribal mentality and gender bias in Islamic era. Similarly sex with underage girls have also been cited in ahadees as normal, so again, irrespectivbe of fake or real ahadees, it shows the acceptance of non-consensual sex with underage girls as very natural and common.

    I am not Muslim haters, I am just asking you ppl to be realistic here.

  24. Concerned (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 3:39 am

    Lets make this a little clear now, ALAM ru a muslim?

    The reason I bring this up is becuase we are unnecessarily maligning another religion (hinduism).

    Muslim bros, if you cant defend yourself tht does not give u the right to attack other religions. This makes you no better then the person attacking your religion.

    You and I are too small a part of the world to know which religion in right and which is wrong. You can study all your life and still not irrevocably say that your religion is the right one.

    Some things in Islam can be considered to be against women, we have all seen evidences of this all our lives, why do we deny it? Do the people here mean to say that Islam considers men and women equal? women have always been servers and men have always been the served. I am not saying it is any better in any other religion but that does not make it right.

  25. ALAM (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    >>> Lets make this a little clear now, ALAM ru a muslim?

    Bhai, whats my religion or lack thereof, has got to do with the discussion?

    Can’t we talk about something in objective way, without getting personal?

  26. wasiq (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 8:43 am

    iam trying to…..ok i failed…!

  27. mansoor (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    concerned: “Muslim bros, if you cant defend yourself tht does not give u the right to attack other religions. This makes you no better then the person attacking your religion.” well said!!!

    kads: “Why would anyone try to refute the hadith???? Sexual prowess is a blessing of God and we are glad as muslims that we have plenty of it here in this world and will have more of everything in heaven.” really?? seriously?? i dont believe you just said that!!! lolzzz! this has to be the biggest JOKE of the century! we are glad as MUSLIMS we have plenty???? hahahah! funny!

    people, be objective, please control your emotions and stick to the TOPIC!

    all off-topic, personal attacks and hate mongering comments have been moderated. if you cannot be civil, then comments will be turned off on this post.

  28. Kads (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

    *comment moderated – reply sent to commenter privately*

  29. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

    First of all, whenever the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) his companions immediately wrote the verses down on parchment or whatever was available. (as far as Hadiths, they were compiled later, thus the categorization of Hadith as strong and weak based on narrators and other criteria)
    Like I had said earlier, you have not studied Islam at all and again you are indicating it with your “proofs”. Reading random hadiths online is not studying Islam.
    In case you don’t know, Tirmidhi hadith are considered among the weakest hadith (along with Abu Dawud). I think this is the reason that most websites always have a note stating that reading hadiths online is not the same as studying them (at least this message appears on the USC Hadith Database)
    As far as women and men being treated equally, they definitely are not treated equally. But the rights that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gave women in the society that he was in, was unprecedented. Women were given the right to initiate divorce, own property, receive inheritance in a land where female infants were buried alive before he came(Underage marriage and the like have always taken place in history. The Bible mentions Hebrew prophets taking hundreds of wives and concubines including underage women. This was common in the past and in line with traditions of the area and is definitely not something that was limited to Islam. The reason I mention the Bible’s account of Solomon and others is to show that it was commonplace in that era) And if this underage marraige thing was brought up regarding Aisha, there is a debate as to how old she was when she was married. There are a lot of conflicting sources that give an age range between 9-19, but the younger age is considered less likely because of the amount of authority she had after the Prophet (pbuh) passed away. (She would’ve been too young if that was her age at marriage) Men and women are different, but the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in his final speech, that men have rights over women, but women also have rights over men. I think the problem in our society sometimes is that we use the name of religion whenever we want to control women, but when it comes to giving them their rights that are due Islamically, we dont follow Islam at all. And I agree with what Quaid-e-Azam said, that we definitely have not been treating our women right.

  30. Kads (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 8:29 pm


    Alam has repeatedly insulted islam and drags islam into every discussion. In the very first reply to the topic “suppy and demand” he connected islam with the topic of prostitution and linked the supply and demand of prostitutes to Islam. How is that not ABUSIVE and Offensive? Why did you not delete that?

    In addition, Alam has called openly for bombing of innocent civilians in pakistan in another topic. And you saw it fit to leave that comment unchanged. Why?

    I suggest you take of your tinted glasses of bias and prejudice or else you shall forever remain as blind and bigoted as Alam himself. If it is offensive to you that hinduism is insulted, then it is offensive to muslims that islam is insulted. Fair is Fair. Or isnt it??

  31. RockOnKarachi (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

    Salute to KADS!!!

    @Mansoor: Alam started insulting others belief, if you can’t ban him then you don’t have any right to ban others, you see we Muslims are proud of our religion, we may not be following it rightly thats another story, but if anyone tries to insult Islam for no reason, we won’t care what the MODS have to say.

  32. ALAM (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

    @Fahad Khan

    Bhai, u r saying what i just said. The Ahadees r fake. You initially challenged me to come up with ahadees or something to justify my claims, and i gave u ahadees from islamic sources. Thats all i did. I didnt not ask anyone to belive in them,

    But for centuries, they have been accepted without any reservation, because of the tribal mindset in which islam flourished, and the tendency in Muslims, even educated ones, to justify these ahadees.

    Islam is being re-interpreted by “roshan khial” muslims like u nowdays, and thats a good thing, if u ask me. I think one day, ppl like u will end up denying all ahadees (as some ppl still do), and aggressively re-interpreting Quranic verses in a radical way. More power to you.

  33. Kads (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 9:40 pm

    @Alam the liar

    Alam: What fahad said was that SOME ahadees are fake. In your disturbed and convoluted mind. you have twisted that to wish that ALL ahadees are false and propogate that message. Do not think you can get away with offending muslims like this.

    You are a fake and a liar and you have just proved it yourself. Hahahahhahahaha…..Dug your own grave there you muslim hater you :)

  34. Saad (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 9:55 pm

    Dear readers,
    It is a pity that we are discussing something which I am sure no one among us is qualified to say anything confidently.

    However, as a true believer, I believe Islam is the only ‘TRUE’ existing religion in the world as of now. The statement 2+2=4 can be wrong but whatever Quran and Hadith say can never ever be wrong. Only Islam has stood the test of time only because it is the true divine revelation.

    In a true Islamic society (which is not prevalent anywhere in the world, unfortunately), there would be no need for these women to resort to prostitution. I believe no woman would be willing to sacrifice her sanctity, but only due to avoid her deplorable life conditions. If a true Islamic state would be existing in Pakistan, it would itself feed these families so that they could stay within the protection of the 4 walls.

    As far as Ahadees are concerned, if you believe Islam is a true religion, then you cannot deny the authenticity of Ahadees, as Islam is incomplete without the way the Holy Prophet practiced Islam.

    My friend, when you are sick you go to the doctor, when you are in a lawsuit, you hire the services of a lawyer. Similarly, when you have any doubts in your mind about Islam, before becoming an Aalim of your own, try some of the Aalim-e-deen we have. It is their prerogative to give expert advice on issues in light of Quran and Sunnah. We have to mold ourselves according to Islam, Islam will not mold as per our desires.

    Please think positively.

  35. Kads (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 11:01 pm


    Greetings and salutations to you too my friend. :)

  36. Fahad Khan (unregistered) on November 2nd, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

    As I stated before, I don’t claim to know everything regarding Islam, but I just want to point out the factual inaccuracies in your statements. I am not a reform Muslim, Islam is a very beautiful religion and does not need to be reformed or changed in any way. The concept of strength of hadith has always existed, and Tirmidhi and Sunan Abu Dawud have always been considered on the weaker scale. Hadith are a cornerstone of Islam, the specifications of prayer, for example, are given solely in Hadith. I believe 100% in Hadith but if you study Hadith, they are separated between weak and strong hadith. This is not a reinterpretation of anything nor a westernized or liberal concept. This does not make any hadith “false”. This religion of Islam is a gift from God in my opinion. It establishes justice for everyone, including women. This discussion was originally on prositution which you tried to use as an opportunity to insult Islam. I am simply stating that you have not studied Islam, and that is very apparent by your messages. Especially the fact that you don’t know the difference between the levels of hadith, how can someone claim to know anything about hadith and not know that?

  37. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2007 @ 2:27 am

    No matter how much you guys debate this, but the fact remains that prostitution is the oldest profession, it has seen many Religions, Kings and Popes trying to eradicate it, none has been successful.
    It will remain in practice as long as there is demand for sex, which is as natural as food. True, a great majority of women / children in this profession are exploited and forced, but there will always be those who take it up as a chosen carrier and go a long way.

    Society as it stands today both in the developed / developing world, will not be able to get rid of it in centuries to come, however, what civilized societies strive to achieve is to minimize the exploitation part. It is also interesting to note that this profession has also seen its artistic and intellectual peak in Lucknow, where prostitutes like Umrao Jaan touched the sophistication never seen before in this profession. They not only provided sexual gratification but also satisfied intellectual/artistic demands of their clients.

    Again the fact remains, whether is an open sex or a closed sex society like ours prostitution remains current.

  38. alam (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2007 @ 3:59 am


    U r not getting my point, and u have not responded to my point in the last post.

    I know the concept of strentgh of Hadees. I have known it since early teen age (yes, I was an avid reader of Hadees for a long time). My point was/is that followers of a religion do not ascribe bad things to their leaders. Even if a weak Hadees says that the leader married a 9 years old girl, or said something about taking virgins in early age, then it says a lot about the mindset and the culture the religion flourished and spread.

    There r millions of Muslims, still recognizing these Hadees as accurate. You can drumbeat all day long about their weakness, but it doesn’t matter.

  39. balma (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

    Continuing the thoughts of REality_Check, I will recommend that those few who can still read Urdu please read the novel, Umrao Jan Ada. In this story, Umrao Jan Ada (novel is not clear whether someone by that name actualy existed in Lucknow in 1850s), is not only a singer and a dancer, but also a poetess and politically aware.

    Actually, another novel written by Mirza Hadi Ruswa, Sahrifzaadah, is also a good read. Talks about reasons for backwardness of North Indian (and esp Lucknow) Muslims…fits today’s Pakitanis quite well… Mirza HAdi Ruswa was a fascincating character hinself. He was a writer, poet, and a scientist. HE also graduated from the first modern engineering college in Roorki, India, near Lucknow. That is now called Roorki University.

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