Prostitution in Pakistan

Prostitution in Pakistan
In theory, The Land of the Pure should not have a prostitution problem at all.

In practice however, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has a very serious problem that is already becoming a significant part of the black economy of the country. It is estimated that the prostitution is the fourth most profitable trade after weapons, drugs and land grabbing.

How did the problem get out of hand?

People interested in the social and historical dimensions of the issue identify the regime of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq as the turning point for prostitution in Pakistan. Many of the readers would be very surprised to learn that before Zia’s regime, sexual relations between two consenting adults were NOT a criminal offence in Pakistan. However, this was before 1979.

The drive of Islamization launched by Gen. Zia changed the whole outlook of the society. Islamic jurisprudence became an integral part of the Penal Code of Pakistan. The Hudood Ordinance is one of the many laws that are still debated by sections of the society.

Another development that defeated all the subsequent efforts of curbing prostitution in Pakistan was the ban on the red light areas in the country. May experts think that this was the single most disastrous event for law enforcement efforts against prostitution.

While the red light areas were active, it was easy to track prostitutes and discourage their activities outside the area. This resulted in a control over the trade and attempts of using kidnapped children and women for sex trade abated to a large degree.

All this changed when the islamization drive busted the red light areas in all major cities. This scattered the prostitution business across cities with disastrous results. Now you can pick up a prostitute in pretty much every area of all major cities.

Sex trade has become an option for women from lower middle class of the society. They earn a living and support the family.

Is prostitution in Pakistan an evil? Yes of course!
Can it be eliminated? Not at all.

So what should be done?
Legalize the trade? Not in your dreams!

The people of Pakistan have no solution for the world’s oldest profession.

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal is Contributing Editor of Awaz e Pakistan. He strongly believes in the power of words and words represent ideas that cannot be suppressed.
Zafar Iqbal

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