In the shadows of Lahore's Mosque,
Mughal emperors designated as a place of entertainment centuries ago.. you can guess who the prostitutes were.
Brothels: The business that fails to fade away
The Express Tribune,
November 5th, 2010.
Despite numerous raids every month, police seem to be unable to curtail the practice
ISLAMABAD: The city police raided yet another brothel on Ibne Sina Road in sector F-11/2 on the first of this month. As a result, 15 people, including six women, were arrested for their alleged involvement in “immoral activities.”
This was not the first time such an action was taken against brothels operating under the guise of guest houses. In March this year, the police held 14 people from sector F-11/2 for their alleged involvement in prostitution. The residential sectors F-8, F-10, F-11, F-12, G-10 and G-11 have been on the police radar for the past few months.
Shalimar and Margalla police stations, which are located in the centre of the city, have been particularly involved in controlling and curtailing the illicit activity.
But there are many who wonder how the business continues to flourish despite the numerous crackdowns by police officials. The police maintain that there are loopholes in the law due to which it is difficult to get rid of the activity. There are others who claim that the practice has the protection of the ‘high and mighty’.
Anonymous sources in the Islamabad Police told The Express Tribune that some high government officials including the Islamabad Police had a day exclusively fixed at such ‘guest houses’ for receiving its services. An official from Shalimar Police said that some police officials visit a guest house every tenth night of the month.
Moreover, an official cited that the people arrested by the police are later released by the court due to lack of evidence. The women arrested under the prostitution allegation get bail from the court on the basis of the women protection act.
Almost in all of the cases, police claim the suspects were caught ‘red handed.’ In that case, the question arises as to why the police failed to provide strong evidence against them in the court.
A criminal lawyer, Safraz Bosal, said that there were multiple reasons for the lack of evidence. “In the first place, offences like prostitution are always difficult to prove. But in cases of drinking and gambling, massive police corruption leads to the lack of evidence.” He added that many are also falsely implicated in these cases.
Bosal said many gambling dens and brothel houses ran under the supervision of police but “they are raided after they refuse to pay bhatha (extortion money) to police. In other cases, police falsely implicate people to take money from them.” Elaborating upon the ‘dens’ of such activities, police officials said that they usually take place in guest houses where owners make arrangements for dance floors, night clubs, prostitution and gambling. Imported and local liquor is also served openly.
In a recent raid, police recovered 20 bottles of local liquor from Mishal Guest House. However, the owner of the guest house, Mishal Khan, along with his wife managed to escape from the scene, police said.
Officials further said that the guesthouse cum brothel was operational in the area for a long time. “The owner used to arrange a call girl for Rs10,000 per night for every customer. The package included imported liquor and room rent for the night,” the investigating officer said. “The customers were given the option of choosing from prostitutes of different nationalities,” he added.