By Najeeb Kakar
In my last article, about the profession of prostitution, I deconstructed why prostitution is considered a viable source of revenue by poor Pashtun women. I had also given a detailed analysis of destitute women of our allegedly religious, traditional and intrepid society being obliged to this act. In my concluding piece, I broadly examine the incalculable causes of prostitution entrenched as a whole in Pakistani society how and why respected women have been inclined towards this sullied occupation called prostitution.
Perhaps most importantly, women involved in prostitution in Pakistan can be divided into three broad categories: those who have been trafficked or lured into the profession, those who were born in this profession, and those women who enter the profession for extra money. Those born into the profession are ‘schooled’ at home and operate under the management of their mother or an elder female relative. Those trafficked into the profession are ‘inculcated’ at brothels and operate under the management of gangsters and mafias.
However, extreme poverty is one of the major factors of prostitution in Pakistan. It is imperative to note that about 60.19% of the population lies below the poverty line. People are concerned for their children and how to provide them quality education and keep their bellies full. This is one example as to why extreme poverty has explicitly made women vulnerable towards prostitution. It is also because, they think that it is a solace to earn an easy profit for the sustenance of their families. One thing is quite distressing though, is that the wealth is concentrated in a few hands. The affluent bourgeois implicitly exploits the poor class of society for various means to their ends.
Conflict-resultant displacements are considered as the primary reason, why women particularly young girls, are pushed into prostitution. This is absolutely true for all the displaced Pashtun tribes. The military operation in the year 2006 in Balochistan and in 2009 in Swat promptly forced women to prostitution. Similarly, the ongoing war against terror have displaced millions from their homes which is a major drawback for war-torn people. So therefore, thousands of young girls are snatched, kidnapped, and lured into prostitution and unfortunately many of them land in various brothels and as private sex slaves in urban centers.
Primitive culture and high birth rates have also forced women to turn to prostitution in Pakistan. For instance, thousands of women have 8 to 10 children, and sometime it increases to 12, especially in rural areas. People there are reluctant family planners. People are also completely hostile towards women’s education. Education is a milestone which can be used to take out our folks from the hearth of ignorance to a high status of society education not only provides them with numerous opportunities in life but also helps them make relatively proper family planning which could help resolve birth rates in Pashtun community. Rhodes Scholar for Pakistan from Balochistan Rafiullah kakar said, “We need to bring a cultural shift in our attitude towards family planning. Also, Pakistani philanthropists and entrepreneurs need to come forward and work for improving lives and provide a source of income for displaced families.”
Moreover, gangster and mafia groups have lured, trapped and trafficked young girls between the ages of 20 to 25. It is not confined to a specific province but its roots are rooted deeply throughout Pakistan. Politicians, police, high state officials, and a particular sections of the bureaucracy are supporting this monstrosity euphemized as business. Some of them lure and traffick girls with the help of their furtive gangsters from different places of the country and overseas. The amount of profit made out-of using these girls in brothels and private sex slavery through the help of the pimp madams are quite substantial.
Hence, young girls from central-Asian states have been trafficked and have landed in very beautiful house in various sectors of Islamabad. These girls are from Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan and from different countries of the globe. They are provided full security because big fish are backing their businesses. Sectors I 10, G 10, I 8 sectors of Islamabad and its outskirts are the main places of prostitution. Exotic prostitutes live with full impunity under the supervision of gangsters and the mafia. These foreigners are supplied to various five star hotels for the sexual desires of ministers, parliamentarians, affluent chieftains. Even though certain brothels are working in predefined precincts of police station – so those police stations – take an extortion (ghunda tax) from them to allow the business continue. Police do visit various brothels and private sex-centers for their own carnal needs. A police officer was caught red-handed in Islamabad while dancing with a prostitute in her flat’s room.
These trafficked prostitutes could earn thousands of rupees per night in hotels and other private brothels to vent the sexual lust of the capitalist bourgeoisie. “The prostitutes operate in a wide range of places, ranging from hotels to flats. There is a wide disparity in their incomes. Prostitutes operating on the street earn between 2,000 a day and 40,000 rupees per 20 days, whereas call girls make 5,000- 100,000 Pak Rupees depending on the network. Which they usually spend on Phone Cards, Cigarette, Pan, drugs, Taxi, Fast Food, and Batah for police and the Pimp the (Business Development and Relation Manager).” Jamil Hussain stated. How shamefully, our defenders are exploiting and black-mailing these women to extort money from them?
It is wrong to exploit and push the indigent women of the society towards prostitution. To me, it is quite distressing and an inhuman act which is probably proscribe in our society. This is completely unacceptable in terms of humanity. We must drag out our poor and needy sisters from this sullied occupation through the economic development of our society. The state and its capitalist classes need to help the poor section of society to prevent its women from the business of prostitution before it is too late to turn back.
Najeeb Kakar is a freelance writer and researcher interested in politics, society, history and terrorism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter@najeebkakar19 and Facebook.