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Christchurch massacre By Asif Haroon Raja

Christchurch massacre

Asif Haroon Raja


“The time has come for America to hear the truth about this tragic war. In international conflicts, the truth is hard to come by because most nations are deceived about themselves. Rationalizations and the incessant search for scapegoats are psychological cataracts that blind us to our sins. But the day has passed for superficial patriotism. He who lives with untruth lives in spiritual slavery.” – 

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), US civil rights leader.















The gruesome massacre of the Muslims in the two mosques in Christchurch, third largest city of New Zealand on March 15, has sparked horror and has shocked the world. Although New Zealand is considered as one of the safest countries in the world, Christchurch itself has a history of Far-Right violence. Several attacks had taken place in the past since the 1980s.

Australian born gunman Brenton Tarrant mowed down 41 worshippers offering Friday prayers in Al-Noor Mosque, killed ten in another mosque in Linwood and injured 50 including women and children. Among the martyred, nine were Pakistanis including two (father and son) who grappled with the assassin and tried to snatch his gun. After exhausting ammunition of his two semi-automatic guns marked with logos, the assassin brought his third gun from the trunk of his car and kept firing on the dead and injured to make sure none survived. The visiting Bangladesh cricket team had a narrow escape. Remorseless Brenton and his 3 accomplices were arrested and produced before the court on the following day.


The maniac Brenton espouse anti-immigrant and Islamophobia ideology. Obsessed with Far-Right and Neo-Nazi ideology, he uploaded a 74-page manifesto describing the Muslim immigrants as a threat to western culture and his motivation for his actions. He was planning this attack for two years and had informed all concerned about his intentions. Inspired by Norwegian Far-Right terrorist Anders Breivik, believing in white supremacy and considering Donald Trump as his hero, his objective was to scare away immigrants in New Zealand.  He video-recorded the entire grisly episode.

Morbidity of the wanton slaughter has horrified all and sundry and everyone is describing the killer as a monster. Visibly disturbed PM of New Zealand Jacinda Arden dubbed it as the darkest day. Wearing black clothes, she condoled and consoled the bereaved families and the Muslims in Christchurch. The PM of Australia called the gunman a violent extremist, but failed to call it a ‘terrorist attack’. UNSC held a one-minute silence to express grief. However, Trump initially refused to denounce the carnage and denied that white extremism is the rising threat. On New Zealand PM’s insistence that he should express sympathy for the Muslims, he changed his stance but still didn’t term Brenton a terrorist.

Brenton’s place of origin Australia has a dark history of pursuing repugnant racist migration policies for almost two centuries and where white fascism is scaling new heights. Australia will need to do more to recognize its legacy of racist violence against non-white populations.  

This grisly incident is a big slap on the face of the US-led western world that has been constantly demonizing Islam and the Muslims and branding them as terrorists. Western leaders have been equating Islam with fascism. It is this fixated mindset which kept the Global War on Terror (GWOT) confined to the Muslim world only.

Tragically, Buddhists kill Muslims in Burma, Christians kill Muslims in Afghanistan, Middle East, Africa and the West, Hindus in Kashmir, Jews in Palestine. Still, Muslim is branded a terrorist.  If a non-Muslim kills, he is described as a mentally disturbed shooter; if a Muslim kills even in self-defence, he is a terrorist. Two set of laws are in vogue in the USA and in Europe. White perpetrators of violence are seen as individual acts owing to mental illness. In the case of Muslims, violence is explained as the clash of civilization and all Muslims and Islam are blamed. Radicalism has been tagged to Islam only.   

A German Muslim scholar when asked to give his views on terrorism and Islam, he said:  “Who started the 1st world war? Not Muslims!! Who started the 2nd world war? Not Muslims!! Who killed six million Jews in the Holocaust? Not Muslims!! Who killed 20 million Aborigines in Australia? Not Muslims!! Who dropped bombs upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Not Muslims!! Who killed more than 100 million Indians in North America? Not Muslims!! Who killed over 50 million Indians in South America? Not Muslims!! Who took away about 180 million chained African people in ships to the USA as slaves and 88% of them died and were thrown overboard into the Atlantic Ocean? Not Muslims!!”

The US, Western Europe, Israel and India dub all Muslims as extremists and terrorists without defining terrorism. If a non-Muslim does something bad, it is crime. If a Muslim commits the same crime, he is termed as a terrorist. They justify the demonization of Islam and Muslims under the caption of ‘freedom of expression’. However, the Holocaust cannot be doubted or criticized. The rise of racism and fascism in the non-Muslim countries have not been taken seriously. These curses are more rampant in the USA, Western Europe, Israel and India. Hatred against Muslims has been systematically injected on the basis of false perceptions and misconceptions about Islam.       

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain and the UK had voiced serious concern over the migration of refugees from Syria and Libya and said it must be stopped. The refugee influx, an unprecedented rise of Far-Right parties in Europe, UK’s Brexit and incident of San Bernardino and Paris attacks in 2015 have given a toxic rise to Islamophobia and hate crimes. The Far-Right and well-funded Islamophobic network have espoused blatantly racist ideas. Muslims are seen as the enemy ‘within’. So-called educated elite are in the lead to dehumanize the Muslims. Discriminatory policies such as a ban on hijab, veil, and on mosque minarets and restricting freedom of speech and religious practices are in practice.  

Islamophobia has become a real danger to the foundations of democratic order and values in Europe. It has also become the main challenge to social peace and co-existence of different cultures, religions, ethnicities in Europe. Everyday life of a Muslim in Europe be it at school, workplace, mosque, transportation or on streets is in constant danger.

Racism is more entrenched in Europe than in the USA since it has a colonial history in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Even after decolonization, racist ideas and practices have persisted. Europe used anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric and blamed them for Europe’s economic woes to make electoral gains in 2010. The British National Party, Wilder’s Party in Holland and Sweden’s Democrats made political gains. The latter gained power on the anti-Muslim campaign.  

In the USA, Islamophobia and Orientalism is more recent which gained currency after the 2nd world war when the power of European nations declined and the USA emerged as a superpower. Closeness with Israel was another factor. The threat of Islamic fundamentalism was coined after the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Neocons-Likud alliance shaped the Jihadist threat in the 1980s. After the fragmentation of USSR and demise of Communism in 1991, Communism was replaced with Islam as the major threat to the New World Order and Capitalism.

It was in the 1990s that Far-Right in the USA began to engage with Islamophobia and surged up after 9/11. The American Far-Right collaborated with European Far-Right and both developed a common global counter Jihadist narrative and movement. Crimes against the Muslims in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Western Europe and now in New Zealand, have risen alarmingly but their crimes have never been labelled as terrorism. Far-Right in Europe has gathered strength because of the weakness of the Left and Centre-Left.

In the USA, both the Republicans and Democrats have promoted racism, fascism and have supported the war on terror. Both have made use of racist policing to help consolidate national security state and promote US imperialism from the era of cold war to the war on terror. 9/11 was a false flag operation and GWoT launched in October 2001 was a cover plan to achieve geostrategic and geo-economic objectives. George W. Bush Junior initiated the war on terror without defining terrorism. He and his team of neocons coopted NATO, India and Israel and excluded the Christians, Jews and Hindus from terrorism. Their guns were focused against Islam and the Muslims only. Except for North Korea, all the listed targets in the axis of evil were Muslim countries.

Barak Obama further ratcheted up the hatred against Muslim countries. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were targeted on fake charges. Trump has given a fillip to the rise in anti-Muslim feelings in the West since he has all along been spewing venom against them. He scapegoated the immigrants to distract the attention of the American working class from joblessness, lack of healthcare and other social inequities. Corporate media has not only fanned Islamophobia and racism but also endorsed Trump’s rhetoric on white supremacy. The US security apparatus, hawks in the two political parties, universities and think tanks have also been fueling Islamophobia and promoting gun culture.

In the last 18 years, Muslims have been disliked, hated and brutalized. Several Muslim countries have been destroyed, prosperous cities ruined, millions of Muslims killed, millions widowed, orphaned, crippled and rendered homeless. Marooned people of Syria and Libya were left with no option but to migrate to other countries. They have now become a monstrosity for the Far-Right nationalists in Europe and USA.

The gory game of bloodshed and mayhem was played with the help of hired proxies and puppet Muslim regimes. The world at large let the crusaders kill and maim the Muslims at will, myopically imagining that it will make the world safe and secure. Today, the whole world is turbulent and much more unsafe than what it was prior to 9/11. 

The US has used maximum force in Afghanistan but has failed to subdue the Taliban whom they used to call terrorists, but today it is holding direct peace talks with them and bending over backwards to convince them to arrive at a political settlement and let the US troops exit with honour. The US in its quest to seize control of oilfields and to establish Greater Israel by changing the boundaries of the Middle East has bloodied the whole region and turned it into a vortex of chaos.

Once ISIS was created by CIA in 2006 in Iraq to fight Al-Qaeda and then was used in Syria to topple Bashar Al- Assad regime, large numbers of white Jihadis veered toward this newly formed caliphate in 2014-2015. The phenomenon of white Jihadis is attributable to rampant gun culture in the USA and western countries and the arrogant attitude of the elites. Since then, chickens have come home to roost. Terrorism has now seeped into Europe and in the USA.

After 9/11, successive regimes in the USA have been claiming that terrorism is the major threat to the integrity of the USA as well as to global peace. However, the fact is that gun violence poses a much bigger threat to the USA than terrorism. Since 2001, 406,496 Americans were killed by guns in the USA in comparison to 3380 killed worldwide due to terrorism. In the USA, Jihadists killed 45 people since 9/11. All shootings in schools were perpetrated by white men and boys. Ironically when an American Muslim was found involved in San Bernardino, it was quoted to justify launching war on terror and homeland security.    

Christchurch tragedy has left the Muslims residing in western countries terrorized and traumatized. It has once again brought to light that terrorism has no religion, colour, race or gender and has no boundaries. Instead of focusing only on the Muslim world and blaming Muslims to be solely responsible for terrorism, the US and Europe need to introspect and carry out unbiased appraisal to determine as to who is responsible for triggering terrorism which has spread to every nook and corner of the world. They must admit that the growing threat of Far-Right terrorism has not been taken seriously since their entire attention has remained focused on Islamic radicalism.

Terrorism is the common enemy which needs to be collectively defeated under a well-thought-out strategy. It needs an integrated fight and united approach by the whole international community.  

If the world is to be made peaceful, and a secure place to live, the US, Israel and India, the three strategic partners in crime and the West will have to do away with double standards and hypocrisy. They must change their policy of violence and injustice and instead take the path of peace. While the bloody war on terror must end, Islamophobia must be replaced with a policy of co-existence, inter-faith harmony and amiability.

The US and the West must recognize the growing threat of Far-Right, racism and fascism, and initiate steps to eradicate these menaces at the earliest. The gun culture must be radically reformed. The two oldest disputes – Palestine and Kashmir – are probably the root cause of the growth of extremism in the Muslim world. These must be speedily resolved.  

The writer is a retired Brig, a war veteran, defence analyst, columnist and author of five books. He is Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS, and Member Council TJP. [email protected]   




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9-year-old Pakistani girl kidnapped and gang-raped  



An archive photo of  a Pakistani girl. (Reuters / Fayaz Aziz)

An archive photo of a Pakistani girl. (Reuters / Fayaz Aziz)






Shakira Parveen was prostituted by her husband.






Meerwala, Pakistan




Mr.Kristof is a New York Jew and writes particularly vicious articles for the Jewish Newspapers like  The New York Times and Washington Post about Muslim societies like Pakistan, ignoring the 1 million cases of unreported rapes in

his home country.Pakistan allows these Jewish reporters, who cleverly hide their identity to roam around in Pakistan, and even to spy for Israel and India. Pakistan’s security agencies can only keep an eye on them, our executive and Judiciary protects them.

Our an enemy can only point out our flaws. It is for us to fix them

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Nicholas D. Kristof

Nicholas D. Kristof

Shakira Parveen, far right.

If the thought has ever flitted through your mind that your spouse isn’t 100 percent perfect, then just contemplate what Shakira Parveen is going through. And give your own husband or wife a hug.

When Ghulam Fareed proposed marriage to Ms. Parveen, he fingered prayer beads and seemed gentle and pious. Ms. Parveen didn’t know him well, but she and her family were impressed.

“The first month of marriage was O.K.,” Ms. Parveen recalled. “And then he said, you have to do whatever I tell you. If I tell you to sleep with other men, you have to do that.”

It turned out that Mr. Fareed was running a brothel and selling drugs, and he intended Ms. Parveen to be his newest prostitute. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want to sleep with other men,’ ” she said, but he beat her unconscious with sticks, broke her bones and at one point set fire to her clothes. Finally, she broke and assented.

Her “husband” locked her up in one room, she said, and the only people she saw were customers. “For two years, I never left the house,” she said.

This kind of neo-slavery is the plight of millions of girls and young women (and smaller numbers of boys) around the world, particularly in Asia. A major difference from 19th-century slavery is that these victims are dead of AIDS by their 20s.

Finally, Ms. Parveen was able to escape and return to her family, but Mr. Fareed was furious and began to torment her family, saying he would let up only if she returned to the brothel as his prostitute. Then Mr. Fareed’s gang pressured Ms. Parveen by kidnapping her younger brother, Uzman, who was in the fifth grade. Uzman says that his hands and feet were shackled, and he was raped daily by many different men, apparently pimped to paying customers.

The gang members explained that they would release the boy if Ms. Parveen returned to the brothel, and she contemplated suicide.

After six weeks, Uzman escaped while his captors became drunk and left him unshackled. But when Ms. Parveen and her parents went to the police, the officers just laughed at them. Mr. Fareed and other gang members worked hand in glove with the police, the family says.

Indeed, the police even arrested Ms. Parveen’s father, who is one-legged because of a train accident (that is one reason for the family’s poverty). Apparently on the gang’s orders, the police held him for two weeks, in which time he says he was beaten mercilessly. The police are also searching for Ms. Parveen’s brothers, who have gone into hiding.

Mr. Fareed also threatened to kidnap and prostitute Ms. Parveen’s younger sister, Naima, a 10th-grader who was ranked first in her class of 40 girls. Panic-stricken, the parents pulled Naima out of school and sent her to relatives far away. So her dreams of becoming a doctor have been dashed. (For readers who want to help, I’ve posted some suggestions on my blog:www.nytimes.com/ontheground.)

This nexus of sex trafficking and police corruption is common in developing countries. The problem is typically not so much that laws are inadequate; it is that brothel owners buy the police and the courts.

But Ms. Parveen’s tale arises not only from corruption, but also from poverty.

“If I had money, this wouldn’t be happening,” said Ms. Parveen’s mother, Akbari Begum. “It’s all about money. In the police station, nobody listens to me. The police listen to those who sell narcotics.”

“God should never grant daughters to poor people,” she added. “God should not give sisters to poor brothers. Because we’re poor, we can’t fight for them. It’s very hard for poor people, because they take our daughters and dishonor them. There’s nothing we can do.”

Yet in a land where poor women and girls are victimized equally by pimps and by the police, they do have one savior — Mukhtar Mai. She is the woman I’ve visited and written about often (she also uses the name Mukhtaran Bibi).

After being sentenced to be gang-raped by a tribal council for a supposed offense of her brother, Mukhtar refused to commit suicide and instead prosecuted her attackers. And then she used compensation money (and donations from Times readers) to run schools and an aid organization for Pakistani women.






It was in Mukhtar’s extraordinary sanctuary that I met Ms. Parveen. In my Sunday column, I’ll tell more about Mukhtar today.






A nine-year-old Pakistani girl has been taken to the hospital in critical condition after being kidnapped and brutally gang-raped. The girl’s mother has named the abusers, but no arrests were made.

The girl was admitted to a hospital in Bahawalpur after being raped on Wednesday. She remains in critical condition due to loss of blood and internal injuries, the Express Tribune reported, quoting the hospital’s doctors. 

Local police have launched a criminal case against seven men for the kidnap and rape; no arrests have been made yet. 

The girl’s mother named five of the seven suspects. She reportedly told police that she hesitated to inform law enforcers because the kidnappers threatened to kill her and the girl if the woman spoke to authorities.

Station House Officer Irshad Joyia said they were ordered to arrest the suspects, but later were informed that the men had fled to Alipur village, the Express Tribune said. 

According to a First Information Report (FIR) prepared by police, the girl was beaten and then kidnapped by three women and a man in front of her house in Manzoorabad in Rahim Yar Khanby. The kidnappers reportedly took her to another location where she was gang-raped by three men, one of whom was named in the FIR. 

The girl was then allegedly taken back to the place from which she was kidnapped. The girl’s mother told police she found her bloodied daughter near their house. She then took the child to Sheikh Zayed Hospital for examination and treatment.

The rape came weeks after a similar shocking case when a six-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly raped in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province at the beginning of December. The child was also reportedly kidnapped and gang-raped. Residents of the province staged several protests in response to the incident. 

These two recent cases in Pakistan coincide with a horrifying gang-rape in India that claimed the life of a 23-year-old student raped on a bus by six men, the youngest of whom reportedly was a minor. The six men have all been charged with murder, gang-rape, attempted murder, kidnapping and other felonies. They are expected to appear in court on Monday. 

The case sparked mass protests in New Delhi. Demonstrators, particularly women, demanded the rapists be punished and called for the creation of new laws to protect Indian women.

The incident has drawn international attention to the high rates of violence against women in India, where rape victims often do not report to the police for fear of shaming their families or being ignored by law enforcement.

Read more: http://reviewpakistan.com/showthread.php?783131-Takrar-(-16th-June-2013-)-Full-ExpressNews-Young-girls-kidnapped-and-being-sold-all-o&s=f20d5cf6de42075517b4adb321f91edb#ixzz2WPbXEf00


$1,190,655 raised for women

The American government has just gone into the anti-honor-killing “business.” Given my extensive academic and legal work documenting and opposing honor killing, I support this venture. I do find it a bit odd that the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem has just launched such a campaign–but for Palestinian women only.

I have written about honor killing among Palestinians and among Israeli Arabs; I also interviewed Palestinian feminist Asma Al-Ghoul about how she was fired and then arrested for her anti-honor-killing advocacy both in Gaza and on the West Bank. Thus, I favor some U.S. intervention in the matter.

However, I wonder: Why not branch out to Pakistan or Afghanistan where honor killing and honor-based violence is, possibly, even more epidemic?

Last night, I watched an excellent and heartbreaking Frontline documentary by Habiba Nosheen about honor-based violence in Pakistan: “Outlawed in Pakistan.” Thirteen-year-old Kainat Soomro was chloroformed, drugged, kidnapped, and then gang-raped for three or four days by four men who threatened to kill or sell her.

Amazingly Kainat escaped, in her bare feet and without her headscarf.

I am very partial to a story about a girl or woman who escapes a life-threatening captivity in the “Wild East,” as I once did, in Kabul, long ago. I write about this in my forthcoming book, An American Bride in Kabul.

But, I was a foreigner, an American, and once I got out I had a second chance. Kainat is now and forevermore a ruined child, an “outlaw,” whose family was meant to kill her for having “dishonored” them.

Amazingly, her loving family refused to do so. Unlike so many honor-killing families in which parents and siblings are either hands-on perpetrators or collaborators in the murder of their daughters and sisters, Kainat’s mother weeps and kisses her. Her father and older brother proudly supported Kainat’s search for justice.

This family deserves a major prize for having the courage and the sanity to stand up to tribal misogyny.

The Soomros turned to the police who refused to act. Instead, they said to kill her according to tribal custom. “She has shamed you.” The police do no sperm or DNA testing, and do not secure the crime scene. They ensure that charges of rape are almost impossible to prove.

Perhaps the U.S. Consulates in Peshawar and Karachi can donate rape kits to the Pakistani police.

Instead of becoming a bandit queen, as the gang-raped Phoolan Devi did in Uttar Pradesh, India; instead of killing herself — Kainat wanted justice. She wanted these men “sentenced to death” because they ruined her life. And they have. Probably, no one will marry her, and Kainat’s plans to become a physician may be permanently on hold. The death threats against this honorable family became so serious, that Kainat’s 18-person family was forced to flee their home for two rooms in Karachi.

Men who rape girls in tribal areas feel no guilt. Kainat’s accused rapists were enraged when their victim dared speak out. They hotly denied Kainat’s charges.

In Karachi, Sarah Zaman, of War Against Rape, a grassroots feminist group, decided to help Kainat and found her a dedicated pro bono lawyer. Zaman knew that powerful village men routinely rape girls and then have them killed for having shamed their families. In Afghanistan, raped women are either honor-killed or jailed as criminals. Kainat bravely agreed to endure a 5- to 10-year legal process, one in which she will be grilled in humiliating ways. The pro bono lawyer who represented the accused men, is also representing the President of Pakistan.

Nevertheless, Kainat’s lawyer managed to have the four men jailed and held in jail without bail for three years. This, too, is amazing.

Nevertheless, the accused rapists prevail. We see dozens of their village supporters descend on the courthouse yelling that “Kainat is a whore.” Their winning defense is ingenious: They claim that Kainat married one of them and he produces her thumbprint on a marriage document and a photo of the two of them, smiling. Kainat repeats that she was drugged and does not remember this. Her presumed bridegroom demands that she return to him.

Kainat was only 13 and did not have the right to consent to a marriage under secular law. However, under Sharia law, if she has reached puberty, she can do so. Sharia law prevails in the matter and the accused are all freed.

Despite claims to the contrary, Sharia law and Sharia courts are dangerous for women.

Kainat’s story is a victory and like all such victories, the price is high and the risk is even higher.

For a poor girl and her family to have four powerful men jailed for three years is extraordinary. The price: They allegedly killed her supportive brother, Sabir. And despite national headlines, the police closed the murder investigation. Kainat quietly says that her “life is a living hell.”

Kainat and her family live under police protection. Again, this is extraordinary.

I suggest that the U.S. Consulates also consider funding Kainat’s education as a physician. Perhaps the entire family should be air-lifted out of the Pakistani Badlands and into America for their safety.

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CHARLES PIERSON : Are Pakistanis People?

FEBRUARY 11, 2013 
 Chidl victims in North Waziristan, Pakistan, after a US drone attack 12 Oct 2012

There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin


  • Can American people live with the collective guilt of killing innocent people every day?

  • Will there be accountability of people. who fire the drones one day?

  • Are victims of drone attacks images in a video game and can be dehumanized? 

  • Would Jesus approve of Drone Attacks?

  • Would any Faith on this Earth sanction Drone attacks as morally correct? 


Innocent Lives


Are Pakistanis People?


Do only American deaths matter?  The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence thinks so.  During last Thursday’s confirmation hearing for John O. Brennan as CIA Director the Committee’s exclusive focus was on American deaths from drones.  Not one Committee member asked about the hundreds of innocent Pakistanis, Afghans, Yemenis, Libyans, and Somalis, many of them children, who have lost their lives as “collateral damage” in U.S. drone strikes.

U.S. execution of its own citizens is a serious matter.  Keep in mind, though, that only three Americans have been killed by drone strikes.  The best-known is the American-born radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, a member of
images-188Al-Qaeda who was killed in Yemen in September 2011.  Al-Awlaki was referred to repeatedly on Thursday.  (Al-Awlaki’s 16-year old son, also killed in a drone strike, went unmentioned.)

The most charitable explanation for the Committee’s failure to ask about foreign deaths is that the Committee members accept assurances by the President and Brennan that the U.S. has done its best to keep civilian casualties low.  The United States paints drones as surgically precise weapons which kill terrorists while taking few civilian lives.  Speaking publicly in June 2011, Brennan said that no civilians had been killed by drones for nearly a year.  When that claim raised eyebrows, Brennan backpedaled, telling the New York Times a few days later that there had been no “credible evidence” of civilian casualties for the past year.  (The independent Bureau of Investigative Journalism contends that at least 45 civilians were killed by drones during that period.)  What does Brennan think now?  All Brennan would say on Thursday, in answer to a question from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), is that Administration use of drones is “very judicious” and that drones are used only as a “last resort” to save lives when capture is impossible.


Drone strikes have killed a few high-ranking members of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.  On August 5, 2009, a U.S. drone killed Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistan Taliban.  Mehsud is believed to have been behind the assassination of former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.  However, the drone which killed Mehsud and his wife also obliterated the entire building they were in, killing nine other people.  According to Medea Benjamin, this was the United States’ fifteenth attempt to kill Mehsud.  Along the way, U.S. drones killed between 204 and 321 people.  Were all of them terrorists?

The White House refuses to say how many civilians have been killed by drones.  Instead, the White House inflates kill figures by deeming every male of military age in a target area a militant.  Conflicting figures on civilian deaths abound.  The New American Foundation think tank which monitors drone attacks estimates that 16% of those killed by drones are noncombatants.  Many victims are children:  176 children in the period from 2004 to mid-September 2012 according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  Estimates from within Pakistan are considerably higher:  as high as 90%, according to the Pakistani government.  The independent Pakistani NGO Pakistan Body Count claims civilian casualties of from 75% to 80% since the drone strikes began.

High numbers of civilian casualties are to be expected given how U.S. drone strikes are conducted.  Hellfire missiles are fired into wedding parties and funerals.  “Secondary” strikes are launched on rescuers who rush to aid the injured following an initial drone strike.  The Senate Intelligence Committee asked about none of these practices.

Drones have killed so many Pakistanis that they have become the number one recruiting tool for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.  Anti-American feeling in Pakistan runs high.  Asked why, Pakistani Foreign Minister Rabbani Khar’d answered with one word:  “Drones.”

I know several Pakistanis and have learned this:  Pakistanis are human beings.  Earlier, I offered one explanation of why the Committee may not have asked about civilian deaths among Pakistanis (and among Yemenis, Afghans, and others):  the Committee believes the Administration when it says that civilian deaths have been kept low.  That’s the charitable explanation.  An alternative, ugly explanation, is that the Senate and the Administration don’t believe foreigners are human beings.  Or maybe they just don’t believe Muslims are.

There’s an exchange in Huckleberry Finn where Huck tells a woman a fabricated story about a boiler explosion on a riverboat.  “Was anyone hurt?” the lady asks.  “No, ma’am,” Huck says:  “Killed a nigger.”  “Well, I’m glad no one was hurt,” the lady says.  Twain’s point was that to White Southerners Blacks did not count as people.  The death of a Black isn’t the death of anyone:  it doesn’t even register.  The same psychopathology was at work in the Nazis’ extermination of Jewishuntermenschen—subhumans.  It was at work at My Lai.  And I am afraid that it is at work every time a drone hits.

Are Americans more important than non-Americans?  This is an odd position to take in a nation which can’t stop gassing about how Christian we are.  Philosopher Richard Rorty talks about a “circle of sympathy.”  At the lowest level of moral development we care only about our own family or tribe.  As conscience develops, we are able to extend our concern to also encompass our nation, race, or co-religionists.  That’s the stage Americans are stuck at now.  When Al-Qaeda and the Taliban take innocent lives we rightly condemn them.  Yet we ourselves have yet to move on to the highest moral stage where every human being receives our respect.  It’s well past time we made that leap.

Charles Pierson can be reached at: [email protected]




Assessing the Laws of the Drone Wars

February 10, 2013

President Obama’s defenders note he ended the Iraq War, is drawing down forces in Afghanistan and has resisted a new war in Syria. In other words, they say drone attacks on al-Qaeda suspects have ratcheted down the levels of violence left behind by President Bush. But critics say the drone attacks are still war crimes.


By Dennis J. Bernstein

New disclosures regarding President Barack Obama’s use of armed drones to hunt down and kill suspected al-Qaeda terrorists thousands of miles from the United States raise troubling questions about the U.S. Constitution and international law.

In the following interview with Dennis J. Bernstein of Pacifica’s “Flashpoint” program, Marjorie Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former President of the National Lawyers Guild, assesses a White Paper from the Justice Department summarizing the legal arguments justifying the drone attacks.

DB: You say the White Paper runs afoul of international and U.S. law. Please explain.

MC: The White Paper allows the government to kill a U.S. citizen who is not on the battlefield, if some high government official who is supposedly informed about the situation thinks that the target is a senior Al Qaeda leader who poses an imminent threat of a violent attack against the United States. So how do they define “imminence”? Well, it doesn’t require any clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.

So it completely dilutes this whole idea of imminent threat. Under well-established principles of international law and the UN Charter, one country can use military force against another only in self-defense. But under the Caroline case, which is the gold standard here, the “necessity for self-defense must be instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” That means we are going to be attacked right away and we can use force.

But the very nebulous test that the White Paper lays out even allows the targeted killing of somebody who is considered to be a “continuing” threat, whatever that means. The most disturbing part of it says that U.S. citizens can be killed even when there is no “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

So we have a global battlefield, where if there is someone, anywhere, who might be associated with Al Qaeda, according to a high government official, then Obama can authorize (it’s not even clear Obama himself has to authorize these targeted killings, these drone attacks) on Terror Tuesday (thanks to the New York Times expose several months ago) who he is going to kill after consulting with John Brennan.

John Brennan, of course, is his counter-terrorism guru who is up for confirmation to be CIA Director. Very incestuous. John Brennan has said that targeted killings constitute lawful self-defense.

One of the most disturbing things here is the amassing of executive power with no review by the courts, no checks and balances. So the courts will have no opportunity to interpret what “imminence” means, or what “continuing” threat means. The White Paper cites John Yoo’s claim that courts have no role to play in what the President does in this so-called War on Terror where the whole world is a battlefield. I say so-called War on Terror because terrorism is a tactic. It’s not an enemy. You don’t declare war on a tactic.

And the White Paper refers to Yoo’s view that judicial review constitutes “judicial encroachment” on the judgments by the President and his national security advisers as to when and how to use force. The White Paper cites Hamdi v. Rumsfeld which says the President has the authority to hold US citizens caught on the battlefield in Afghanistan as enemy combatants. But in Hamdi, the Supreme Court stated that a U.S. citizen who is being detained as an enemy combatant is entitled to due process. Due process means an arrest and a fair trial. It doesn’t mean just taking him out with a drone.

Also, there’s another interesting passage in this White Paper. It says “judicial enforcement [a court reviewing these kill orders of the executive] of such orders would require the court to supervise inherently predictive judgments by the President and his national security advisers as to when and how to use force against a member of an enemy force against which Congress has authorized the use of force.” Inherently predictive. Does that mean that the court can’t review decisions made with a crystal ball because it’s too mushy? I don’t know.

Certainly courts are competent to make emergency decisions under FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The FISA Court meets in secret and authorizes wiretaps requested by the Executive Branch. Courts can do this. Courts can act in emergencies to review and check and balance what the executive is doing. That’s what our Constitution is all about.

DB: Congress is looking for some original documents about what’s going on here. The White Paper is sort of a restatement of national security documents that we probably haven’t been able to see yet. What about the Geneva Conventions? It sort of throws that in the garbage.

MC: Well, it does because the Geneva Conventions define willful killing as a grave breach. And grave breaches are punishable as war crimes. So this also violates the Geneva Conventions. Although the White Paper says that they are going to follow the well-established principle of proportionality – proportionality means that an attack cannot be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage – I don’t see how they can actually put that into practice because the force is going to be excessive. When you see how they are using drones, they are taking out convoys, and they are killing civilians, large numbers of civilians.

There’s another principle of international law called distinction, which requires that the attack be directed only at legitimate military targets. We know from the New York Times exposé that the kill list that Brennan brings to Obama to decide who he is going to take out without a trial – basically execute – can be used even if they don’t have a name, or if they are present in an area where there are suspicious “patterns of behavior.” These are known as signature strikes. That means that bombs are dropped on unidentified people who are in an area where suspicious activity is taking place.  That goes even beyond targeted killings.

Targeted killings are considered to be illegal. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns, expressed grave concerns about these targeted killings, saying that they may constitute war crimes. He called on the Obama administration to explain how its drone strikes comport with international law and to specify the bases for the decisions to kill rather than capture particular individuals.

The White Paper says that one of the requirements before they can take someone out is that capture is “infeasible.” As you go on and read this memo, infeasible begins to look like inconvenient. We have these very mushy terms, with no clear standards that comply with international law. Yet there is no oversight by any court, and Congress has no role either. So we don’t have checks and balances.

Even the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that Congress passed a few days after 9/11 doesn’t authorize this. The AUMF allows the President to use force against groups and countries that had supported the 9/11 attacks. But when the Bush administration asked Congress for open-ended military authority “to deter and preempt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States,” Congress specifically rejected that open-ended military authority. Congress has not authorized this, and it’s not clear whether Congress would authorize it. …

DB:  When one looks at this Obama policy and compares it to Bush, essentially Obama has chosen, well, we’ll do a little less torture, or skip the torture, and we’ll just kill them.

MC: Obama has expanded these drone attacks far beyond what the Bush administration was doing. There are many thorny issues, such as indefinite detention, how detainees are treated, and under what circumstances they can be released. The Obama administration evidently feels that it’s cleaner and easier just to kill them. Then you don’t have to worry about bad publicity from housing them at Guantanamo, not giving them a fair trial, holding them indefinitely. This goes beyond the torture policy.

Now I don’t want to say that killing with drones is worse than the illegal and outrageous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan that the Bush administration began, in which thousands and thousands and thousands of people have been killed or seriously maimed. So I wouldn’t say that Obama is worse than Bush. But certainly Obama is following in the tradition of the Bush administration and John Yoo’s expansive view of executive power where whatever the President does is unreviewable.

DB: I would say they continue the process of destroying the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the necessary checks and balances that restrain war, that the people depend on.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor of human rights at Thomas Jefferson School and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Her most recent book is The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse. See www.marjoriecohn.com.

Dennis J. Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom.  You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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4 comments on “Assessing the Laws of the Drone Wars”

  1. I’ve been watching the comments section of this article, and I made a little bet with myself: “No matter how long I wait, I’ll be the first one to comment”. It’s because every “Progressive” who reads this article has to admit to him or herself that they have blindly supported, in the same sycophantic manner as reactionary Republicans do, a political platform that is in many ways far worse than that of the Presidency they railed against for eight years. The Bush years gave us war of aggression, indefinite detention, shredding of the Constitution, abandonment of the Geneva Conventions and torture. This one has given us most of that and more. State sanctioned assassination, codification of Constitutional breaches, indefinite detention and wars of aggression are waged without concern for Congressional oversight. The Republicans are delighted. First, because Democrats have granted them a bulletproof amnesty. Only hypocrisy could indict them now. The financial community has been absolved of the biggest financial scam in the history of the world. I could go on, but these are enough to make my point. The “progressive” community sold itself for the sake of a few “wedge issue” concessions, like sympathy for GLBT initiatives and lip service to reproductive freedom. In return, they took a “pass” on things like 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment rights. The Radical right, by the same token, is clamoring over 2nd Amendment rights, while the distraction is providing cover for the dismantling of protections which should be cherished by anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year (Most of us).

    Once forfeited, these protections are nearly impossible to reclaim. Disciples on the left approve of the Executive authorities wielded now, but just wait until they fall into the hands of another “Tricky” Dick Nixon, or a Joe McCarthy. If you think there’s an “Imperial” presidency now, just imagine the incentive to expand it in the future. Power over life and death is an intoxicating perquisite. Failure to prosecute these Constitutional transgressions has made them precedents. None of you seem to realize it yet, but the great “experiment” in Democracy is over. You’re all arguing over irrelevancies while the Titanic is sinking, and reassuring yourselves that, “Don’t worry, we have plenty of buckets and mops”.

    “Progressives” in America have been courting the lipstick and ignoring the pig. Now that you’re married, try to keep in mind: you brought it on yourselves. All of these transgressions have been fostered by entangling alliances and abrogation of the rules of law. International law, U.N. Resolutions, the Geneva Conventions and the Nuremberg Principles have all been subverted in order to maintain a contrived schizophrenic foreign policy that has made us a target for terrorism. The ensuing vicious cycle insures further transgressions which will perpetuate the terrorism and validate the continued cycle of violence, not to mention the continued erosion of rights held sacred since the Magna Carta. Tyranny is a strange bedfellow. It knows no loyalty and keeps no friends. Before he was murdered, Albrecht Haushofer awoke from a similar honeymoon, warm and cozy next to the tyrant pig. He wrote this poem before he died at the hands of the Gestapo:
    I am guilty, But not in the way you think.
    I should have earlier recognized my duty;
    I should have more sharply called evil evil;
    I reined in my judgment too long.
    I did warn, But not enough, and clear;
    And today I know what I was guilty of.
    I won’t live long enough to see it, but I suspect that those who campaigned hardest to corrupt these protections in the name of misguided loyalty may, like Haushofer, find that it was themselves they betrayed. Sooner or later, there’s a morning after. Lipstick only lasts so long. For the time being, American “Progressives” are still warm and cozy. Eventually, they’ll roll over, and the denial will finally wear off. “Enemy of the State” after all, is a title the tyrants never define.

    • Members of a military force involved in combat under the “Laws of War” are “combatants”. Civilians engaged in hostilities on that same battlefield may be considered “unlawful combatants”. We prosecuted and imprisoned people for that. But, we want to have our cake and eat it too. When the CIA and contract civilians engage in these activities, they too could technically be…”unlawful combatants”…? Not to resort to John Brennan’s dodge, but I’m no legal scholar. During my long military career, I was thoroughly indoctrinated in things like the Geneva Conventions and Laws of War…but I guess the government expects us veterans to just pretend none of that matters anymore. The short answer is that we’re now witnessing “Victors’ Justice”. As Winston Churchill noted regarding the legality of some of his transgressions, “History shall be kind to me, for I intend to write it”.

      Pakistani War Criminals Gen.Pervez Musharraf, Pervez Kayani, Asif Zardari, who can be tried in Hague for culpability in Drone War







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The lesser children of Pakistan

The lesser children of Pakistan

Unknown-19In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats

Barack Obama’s tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones


2009.08.21 Syed Wali Shah Aged 7, killed in strike Ob32 / Noor Behram

“Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts … These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” Every parent can connect with what President Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.  There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.Description: http://www.area148.com/cms/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif


It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.

If the victims of Mr Obama’s drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as “bug splats”, “since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed”. Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that “you’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back”.

Like George Bush’s government in Iraq, Obama’s administration neither documents nor acknowledges the civilian casualties of the CIA’s drone strikes in north-west Pakistan.

 But a report by the law schools at Stanford and New York universities suggests that during the first three years of his time in office, the 259 strikes for which he is ultimately responsible killed between 297 and 569 civilians, of whom at least 64 were children. These are figures extracted from credible reports: there may be more which have not been fully documented.

The wider effects on the children of the region have been devastating. Many have been withdrawn from school because of fears that large gatherings of any kind are being targeted. There have been several strikes on schools since Bush launched the drone programme that Obama has expanded so enthusiastically: one of Bush’s blunders killed 69 children.

The study reports that children scream in terror when they hear the sound of a drone. A local psychologist says that their fear and the horrors they witness is causing permanent mental scarring. Children wounded in drone attacks told the researchers that they are too traumatised to go back to school and have abandoned hopes of the careers they might have had. Their dreams as well as their bodies have been broken.

Obama does not kill children deliberately. But their deaths are an inevitable outcome of the way his drones are deployed. We don’t know what emotional effect these deaths might have on him, as neither he nor his officials will discuss the matter: almost everything to do with the CIA’s extrajudicial killings in Pakistan is kept secret. But you get the impression that no one in the administration is losing much sleep over it.

Two days before the murders in Newtown, Obama’s press secretary was asked about women and children being killed by drones in Yemen and Pakistan. He refused to answer, on the grounds that such matters are “classified”. Instead, he directed the journalist to a speech by John Brennan, Obama’s counter-terrorism assistant. Brennan insists that “al-Qaida’s killing of innocents, mostly Muslim men, women and children, has badly tarnished its appeal and image in the eyes of Muslims”.

He appears unable to see that the drone war has done the same for the US. To Brennan the people of north-west Pakistan are neither insects nor grass: his targets are a “cancerous tumour”, the rest of society “the tissue around it”. Beware of anyone who describes a human being as something other than a human being.

Yes, he conceded, there is occasionally a little “collateral damage”, but the US takes “extraordinary care [to] ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life”. It will act only if there’s “an actual ongoing threat” to American lives. This is cock and bull with bells on.

The “signature strike” doctrine developed under Obama, which has no discernible basis in law, merely looks for patterns. A pattern could consist of a party of unknown men carrying guns (which scarcely distinguishes them from the rest of the male population of north-west Pakistan), or a group of unknown people who look as if they might be plotting something. 

This is how wedding and funeral parties get wiped out; this is why 40 elders discussing royalties from a chromite mine were blown up in March last year. It is one of the reasons why children continue to be killed.

Obama has scarcely mentioned the drone programme and has said nothing about its killing of children. The only statement I can find is a brief and vague response during a video conference last January. The killings have been left to others to justify. In October the Democratic cheerleader Joe Klein claimed on MSNBC that “the bottom line in the end is whose four-year-old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that four-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror”.

 As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, killing four-year-olds is what terrorists do. It doesn’t prevent retaliatory murders, it encourages them, as grief and revenge are often accomplices.

Most of the world’s media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama’s murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are “militants”. 

The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

“Are we,” Obama asked on Sunday, “prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?” It’s a valid question. 

Drone statistics visualised

These graphs accurately reflect the Bureau’s data on CIA drone strikes in Pakistan to February 16 2012, the date of the last known strikes.

They are designed to illustrate in the simplest possible way key statistical data from our investigation. 

A chart illustrating total number of strikes since 2004, minimum total casualties and reported civilian casualties. Data accurate as of 20/02/12.

This graph illustrates the number of reported civilian deaths year by year. Data accurate as of 20/02/12.

This graph shows the total number of people reportedly killed in CIA drone strikes. Data accurate as of 20/02/12.

This graph demonstrates all known drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 – 2012. Data accurate as of 20/02/12.

Source:  http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/08/10/resources-and-graphs/



In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats

Barack Obama’s tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones

Connecticut Community Copes With Aftermath Of Elementary School Mass Shooting

A memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut. The children killed by US drones in north-west Pakistan ‘have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and teddy bears’. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty

“Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts … These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.” Every parent can connect with what President Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.

It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.

If the victims of Mr Obama’s drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as “bug splats”, “since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed”. Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that “you’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back”.

Like George Bush’s government in Iraq, Obama’s administration neither documents nor acknowledges the civilian casualties of the CIA’s drone strikes in north-west Pakistan. But a report by the law schools at Stanford and New York universities suggests that during the first three years of his time in office, the 259 strikes for which he is ultimately responsible killed between 297 and 569 civilians, of whom at least 64 were children. These are figures extracted from credible reports: there may be more which have not been fully documented.

The wider effects on the children of the region have been devastating. Many have been withdrawn from school because of fears that large gatherings of any kind are being targeted. There have been several strikes on schools since Bush launched the drone programme that Obama has expanded so enthusiastically: one of Bush’s blunders killed 69 children.

The study reports that children scream in terror when they hear the sound of a drone. A local psychologist says that their fear and the horrors they witness is causing permanent mental scarring. Children wounded in drone attacks told the researchers that they are too traumatised to go back to school and have abandoned hopes of the careers they might have had. Their dreams as well as their bodies have been broken.

Obama does not kill children deliberately. But their deaths are an inevitable outcome of the way his drones are deployed. We don’t know what emotional effect these deaths might have on him, as neither he nor his officials will discuss the matter: almost everything to do with the CIA’s extrajudicial killings in Pakistan is kept secret. But you get the impression that no one in the administration is losing much sleep over it.

Two days before the murders in Newtown, Obama’s press secretary was asked about women and children being killed by drones in Yemen and Pakistan. He refused to answer, on the grounds that such matters are “classified”. Instead, he directed the journalist to a speech by John Brennan, Obama’s counter-terrorism assistant. Brennan insists that “al-Qaida’s killing of innocents, mostly Muslim men, women and children, has badly tarnished its appeal and image in the eyes of Muslims”.

He appears unable to see that the drone war has done the same for the US. To Brennan the people of north-west Pakistan are neither insects nor grass: his targets are a “cancerous tumour”, the rest of society “the tissue around it”. Beware of anyone who describes a human being as something other than a human being.

Yes, he conceded, there is occasionally a little “collateral damage”, but the US takes “extraordinary care [to] ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life”. It will act only if there’s “an actual ongoing threat” to American lives. This is cock and bull with bells on.

The “signature strike” doctrine developed under Obama, which has no discernible basis in law, merely looks for patterns. A pattern could consist of a party of unknown men carrying guns (which scarcely distinguishes them from the rest of the male population of north-west Pakistan), or a group of unknown people who look as if they might be plotting something. This is how wedding and funeral parties get wiped out; this is why 40 elders discussing royalties from a chromite mine were blown up in March last year. It is one of the reasons why children continue to be killed.


Obama has scarcely mentioned the drone programme and has said nothing about its killing of children. The only statement I can find is a brief and vague response during a video conference last January. The killings have been left to others to justify. In October the Democratic cheerleader Joe Klein claimed on MSNBC that “the bottom line in the end is whose four-year-old gets killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that four-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror”. As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, killing four-year-olds is what terrorists do. It doesn’t prevent retaliatory murders, it encourages them, as grief and revenge are often accomplices.

Most of the world’s media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama’s murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are “militants”. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

“Are we,” Obama asked on Sunday, “prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?” It’s a valid question. He should apply it to the violence he is visiting on the children of Pakistan.

Twitter: @georgemonbiot


Wikileaks: Kayani wanted more drone strikes in Pakistan

Published: May 20, 2011

Cables obtained state that Kayani was requesting the US for greater drone back-up.

Newly released Wikileaks cables revealed that the US military’s drone strikes programme within Pakistan had more than just tacit acceptance of the country’s top military brass, despite public posturing to the contrary. The cables state that the country’s military was requesting the US for greater drone back-up for its own military operations as long ago as January 2008.

According to cables , the US account of Kayani’s request for “Predator coverage” does not make clear if mere air surveillance were being requested or missile-armed drones were being sought.

According to the report of the meeting sent back to Washington by Patterson, Admiral Fallon “regretted that he did not have the assets to support this request” but offered trained US Marines (known as JTACs) to coordinate air strikes for Pakistani infantry forces on ground. General Kayani “demurred” on the offer, pointing out that having US soldiers on ground “would not be politically acceptable.”

As reported earlier in The Express Tribune, WikiLeaks cables revealed that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani allowed drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan, saying they would protest the attacks in the National Assembly and then ignore them.

When Interior Minister Rehman Malik advised the US to hold off “alleged Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation”, Gilani brushed off the remarks saying:

I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.

According to a leaked cable published on NDTV, in an earlier meeting on January 9, 2008 with Codel Lieberman, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Kayani agreed that increased training and exercises with the US would be of great value, but urged that US-Pakistan military engagement remain low-key for domestic political reasons. Lieberman underscored need for Pakistan to hold free, fair elections in February.

They also discussed the need to add a humanitarian aspect to Pakistan’s counterinsurgency strategy. Kayani noted four areas in which the Army was requesting technical assistance.

A cable dated February 19, 2009 sates:

The strikes have put increasing political pressure on the Pakistani government, which has struggled to explain why it is allowing an ally to violate its sovereignty. The GOP so far has denied recent media reports alleging that the U.S. is launching the strikes from bases in Pakistan. Kayani knows full well that the strikes have been precise (creating few civilian casualties) and targeted primarily at foreign fighters in the Waziristans. He will argue, however, that they undermine his campaign plan, which is to keep the Waziristans quiet until the Army is capable of attacking Baitullah Mehsud and other militants entrenched there.

The cable states that Anne Patterson remarks that “Kayani is often direct, frank, and thoughtful. .. is an avid golfer, he is President of the Pakistan Golf Association. He smokes heavily and can be difficult to understand as he tends to mumble.


The full text of the cables can be read on Dawn.comThe Hindu and NDTV. WikiLeaks has previously released cables to other media organisations including Guardian and the New York Times.



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Human Trafficking and Women’s Exploitation in Hypocritically “Islamic” Nations of Pakistan and Dubai : A Savage and Deadly Reality for Men,Women, and Children



Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Number 79

….”When you see an evil act you have to stop it with your hand. If you can’t, then at least speak out against it with your tongue. If you can’t, then at least you have to hate it with all your heart. And this is the weakest of faith.”

I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that’s not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity. 
Tahar ben Jelloun (Arabic: الطاهر بن جلون‎) (born in FesFrench Morocco, 1 December 1944) is a Moroccan poet and writer. The entirety of his work is written in French, although his first language is Arabic.



Human Trafficking in Pakistan: A Savage and Deadly Reality for Women and Children

“Dubai is one of the Muslim called countRies is the holds the immense number of pimps from Iran and Emirates local as well.

The locals hire Iranis to bring girls from the mentioned counties and half of the money goes to their families which means Locals are all Harami and pimps.

The locals pray five times and during the night they all disguise and spend the night in discos . They pay less attention to their wives and local Emirates have sex with other men… “Anonymous


Many children die before the race is over either from fear or from being tossed by the animal or being dragged to death after being partially dislodged from the security rope binding the child to the animal.

Thousands of women and children are trafficked to, from and thru Pakistan every year. They are trafficked to Pakistan for the sex industry and as cheap labor in garment factories. Children are also trafficked to Pakistan to labor in the clothing industry and as recently reported in the world media, Pakistani toddlers and young children are sold to middle eastern countries to be camel jockeys and to be used for the black-market human organ transplant industry. This section will discuss what is known about human trafficking to/from and thru Pakistan and will investigate two important elements of Pakistani society and political influence that make this problem extremely dangerous for not only the victims trafficked but also Pakistani women and children in general who are effected as well. In this section, discussion will include the Zina Hudood Ordinance and issues surrounding the US Department of State annual Trafficking Report, which in 2002 gave Pakistan a higher tier rating for supposedly working to improve conditions relative to human trafficking in their country. The information presented in this paper will raise serious doubts whether Pakistan has fulfilled the necessary requirements that denote an improvement in conditions.

There have been one million Bangladeshi and more than two hundred thousand Burmese women trafficked to Karachi, Pakistan.[1] Two hundred thousand Bangladeshi women have been trafficked to Pakistan for the slave trade and prostitution.[2] Two hundred thousand Bangladeshi women were trafficked to Pakistan in the last ten years, continuing at the rate of 200-400 women monthly.[3]

In Pakistan, where most trafficked Bengali women are sold, there are about fifteen hundred Bengali women in jail and about two hundred thousand women and children sold into the slave trade.[4]

India and Pakistan are the main destinations for children under 16 who are trafficked in south Asia.[5] More than 150 women were trafficked to Pakistan every day between 1991 and 1993.[6]One hundred to one hundred and fifty women are estimated to enter Pakistan illegally every day. Few ever return to their homes.[7] There are over 200,000 undocumented Bangladeshi women in Pakistan, including some 2,000 in jails and shelters. Bangladeshis comprise 80 percent, and Burmese 14 percent, of Karachi’s undocumented immigrants.[8]

A Bengali or Burmese woman could be sold in Pakistan for between $1,500 and $2,500 – depending on her age, beauty and whether or not she is a virgin. For each child or woman sold, the police claim a 15 to 20 percent commission.[9] In 1991, women kidnapped at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border were sold in the marketplace for R600 per kilogram. Auctions of girls are arranged for three kinds of buyers: rich visiting Arabs, mostly sheiks and businessmen, rich local citizenry, and to rural farmers.[10] A reported nineteen thousand Pakistani children have been trafficked to the United Arab Emirates. One hundred sixty thousand Nepalese women are in Indian brothels.[11] Orphaned girls are also reportedly sold as ‘wives’ to men who resell them for profits.[12]

Methods and Techniques of Traffickers

Bangladeshi and Burmese women are kidnapped, married off to agents by naive unsuspecting parents, trafficked under false pretenses, or coerced with wonderful stories of a better life, all into the brothels of Pakistan. Border police and other law enforcement agencies are well aware of trafficking through various high use entry points into Pakistan including Lahore, Kasur, Bahawalpur, Chhor and Badin.[13]

Nepalese and Bangladeshi woman and girls are trafficked under false pretenses, with promises of better-paid jobs, and are then forced into prostitution in Pakistani brothels.[14] Since 1994, there has been a significant rise in trafficking of girls, aged 8-15, in Pakistan.[15] Pimps disguised as job agents lure victims from poverty-stricken families. The parents and relatives of the soon-to-be victims are known to spend as much as $145 to $ 450 for agent fees. The girls’ families sell everything the own believing that the money they invest with the agents are for a brighter future. Every month 120 to 150 Bangladeshi women are trafficked into Pakistan and sold to brothels or individuals to be used as prostitutes. The flesh trade is the fastest growing area of international criminal activity in Pakistan, with increased numbers of victims growing daily.

The Route from Bangladesh to Pakistan

Law enforcement authorities and border patrols provide protection to pimps who transport the women, usually first to Dhaka, then to New Delhi and then onto the Indian border and finally into Pakistan. The railway trail starts in Meenapur, Bangladesh and carries on to Calcutta, from where they travel to Delhi, then Amritsar and eventually Pakistan. Once they arrive in Pakistan, the pimps follow the standard route through Lahore down to Karachi, where the market conditions are most profitable for the flesh trade. Dealers bring women into Pakistan as their wives or sisters. Prostitution gangs are organized to the extent that all necessary paperwork in prepared in advance by their partners in Pakistan. Porous borders and lax border guards have made it easy for this trade to flourish. Once in Karachi, the women and children are kept in Bengali paras (slums). They are kept in crowded rooms and deprived of food and clothing. They are forced to do laborious tasks and are beaten if they refuse to cooperate. The pimps then arrange buyers for their commodities. Pimps can make normally make between $ 200 and $230 per sale and can conclude as many as 125 sales a month. A woman’s price tag, depending on her age, beauty, virginity and level of education can start at $1,280 and go as high as $2,400. Particularly attractive women can be sold for as much as Rs. 150,000[16]. Once sold or married off, the women either are forced to work in brothels, or are relegated to a life of domestic slavery.

Burma to Pakistan

Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (Karachi) visited many Pakistani jails and revealed that a large number of Muslim Burmese women and children fleeing the persecution of the Burmese government, have also come to Pakistan from Bangladesh and many of them are trafficking victims.

Traffickers, recruiters and agents have clear links with politicians and influential people in the trade, as well as with various institutions such as the police, customs, border forces, overseas recruiters, travel agents, transport agents, religious institutions, hospitals and clinics (organ transplant factories), adoption agencies and baby-farms. [17]

Policy and Law

If being forced against their will to be slaves in the sex trade were not enough, trafficked women are further victimized by the police and the legal system, which treat them as criminals. The women who escape their captors and are arrested by the authorities are booked under Pakistan’s Hudood Ordinances. The Zina Ordinance, which is derived from Pakistan’s Islamic Hudood Ordinance, makes adultery or sex outside marriage a crime against the state. Women and girls in prostitution are often charged with Zina. Sometimes, they are booked under the Passport Act. Either way, they spend long periods in local and regional prisons. For those accused of illegal immigration, the sentence is four years, but many women end up serving an additional three to four years in jail, either waiting for trial or to clear up immigration formalities. The latter case would only be possible if a local NGO offers them legal assistance.[18]

The governments of Pakistan in the last 26 years have established three commissions of inquiry into the sexual exploitation of women. However, the government under Bhutto in the seventies, the Zia regime of the eighties and the present government under Musharaff have all disregarded the commission’s recommendations.[19]/[20]

Human Rights

According to the 2003 Human Rights Report on Pakistan (published annually by the US Department of State), “significant numbers of women were subjected to violence, rape, and other forms of abuse by spouses and members of society over the preceding year. Discrimination against women was widespread and traditional social and legal constraints generally kept women in a subordinate position in society. Violence against children, as well as child abuse and prostitution, remained serious problems. Debt slavery persisted, and bonded labor by both adults and children remained a problem. The use of child labor remained widespread.

On August 28, 2002, the Government passed the Prevention and Control of Human TraffickingOrdinance; however, trafficking in women and children for the purposes of prostitution and bonded labor has continued to swell.”[21]

Trafficking Report – US Department of State

According to the 2002 report on Pakistan, released last year, Pakistan was raised from Tier 3 (lowest level) to Tier 2. In this year’s report, Pakistan remained in Tier 2. The US Department of State report noted Pakistan as –

“A country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Internal trafficking of women and girls from rural areas to cities for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor also occurs. Pakistan is a source country for young boys who are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar as camel jockeys. Pakistani men and women travel to the Middle East in search of work and are put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, and physical abuse. Pakistan is a destination for women and children trafficked from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and labor. Women trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East transit through Pakistan.

In October 2002, the government passed a law that criminalizes all aspects of trafficking, from recruitment and transporting to receiving a person. If rape or forced prostitution cases are prosecuted under the Islamic law-oriented Hudood ordinances, victims are reluctant to testify since, the woman’s testimony is tantamount to an admission of adultery if prosecutors conclude that her testimony does not meet the burden of proof. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) reports that 11 people have been arrested for trafficking under the new statute and those prosecutions of those individuals are pending.

The government sponsors a variety of shelters and training programs throughout Pakistan that provide medical treatment, limited legal representation, and vocational training. The government provides temporary residence status to foreign trafficking victims, as well as a lawyer on demand. However, without the advocacy of an NGO, victims may be treated as criminals and detained because of their illegal immigration status. Many victims languish in jail for months or years without having their cases heard. On the provincial and local level, the Punjab Ministry for Social Welfare collaborates with approximately 400 NGOs in providing women’s shelters, orphanages, and rehabilitation programs for women and children. In destination countries for Pakistani laborers, embassy officials assist those who have been trafficked or placed in abusive working conditions.”[22]

US-Pakistan Relations – Special Treatment in exchange for cooperation in the fight against Terrorism

When deciding whether a country is designated as Tier 1, 2 or 3 (lowest), determination is made according to whether or not they meet the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” which are noted as follows.[23]

“Governments should prohibit trafficking and punish acts of trafficking; prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault, for the knowing commission of trafficking in some of its most reprehensible forms (trafficking for sexual purposes, involving rape or kidnapping, or that causes a death); prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects the offense’s heinous nature for the knowing commission of any act of trafficking; and make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking.”

Countries that are given the grade of Tier 2 are: Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.[24]

“For the third consecutive year, the State Department report fails to give hard figures on the number of people being trafficked,” said LaShawn R. Jefferson, executive director of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. “The report gives undue credit for minimal effort and ignores government practices, such as summary deportation and incarceration, that effectively punish trafficking victims.”

As noted repeatedly in this paper, serious questions are asked why the US Department of State raised Pakistan’s Tier level from 3 to 2. One speculative answer would be that this move was influenced by Pakistan’s cooperation with the US Bush Administration in their fight against terrorism. If there is any truth to this possibility if raises the final question, “which are worse, suspected terrorists or known victimizers of innocent women and children?”

The Zina Hudood Ordinance (1979)

The Hudood Ordinance criminalizes Zina, which is defined as extra-marital sex including adultery and/or fornication. It criminalizes Zina-bil-jabr, which is defined as rape outside of marriage.

According to the Holy Qu’ran (Sunnah), Zina is punishable by Hadd or tazir.  The Hadd punishment is stoning to death, and the tazir punishment for Zina is up to ten years imprisonment and whipping – up to 30 lashes and/or a fine. The tazir punishment for Zina-bil-jabr is up to 25 years imprisonment and whipping up to 30 lashes.[25]

Thousands of women have suffered from the Hudood Ordinance. The legal basis for gender discrimination and punishment of women for asserting their own will and choices was created by the state. The law equates rape with adultery. It requires four adult Muslim male witnesses to prove adultery in cases of rape. This means, in practice, that the law protects rapists. In addition, it excludes the testimony of women and minorities in awarding Hadd punishment. It does not recognize the rape of a minor wife as an offence; removes the legal protection given to children; and makes them liable for punishment of these offences under the law.

According to Dr. Farzana Bari, “Hudood laws are clearly in conflict with the principle of gender equality that is enshrined in Article 25 of the constitution that does not permit discrimination based on sex alone. Despite the fact that women constitute fifty percent of the population, they are not a powerful constituency due to their dependent and subordinate status vis-à-vis men. Their electoral behavior is primarily determined and influenced by the male members of their families.”

The majority of people who have been tried so far under Hudood laws are primarily women. Only women have been awarded the maximum punishment of Zina (adultery) by Pakistan’s male-dominated judiciary system. This included a case of a blind woman raped by her landlord and his sons and sentenced to stoning to death because she was not able to provide male witnesses to prove otherwise.

Statistics on Human Trafficking in Pakistan

Further stated by Dr Bari, “there is hardly any city in Pakistan where brothels or red light areas do not exist”, however no statistics are available either from the Trafficking Report of the US Department of State or from the Federal Investigative Agency (FIR) on human trafficking in Pakistan. This lack of reporting adds emphasis to the need for more direct involvement from the leadership of the government to fight this problem. In the region of Punjab, statistical records are available for a number of criminal acts under investigation by the FIR. These statistics are made available on the Website of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA).[26]  According to the LHRLA, in the first seven months of 2003, the Federal Investigative Agency (FIR) reported that there were 186 episodes of sexual abuse against children, including 103 girls and 83 boys. Of those abused 17 were killed. In the same period, 69 girls and 24 boys were abducted, three of which were raped and sodomized and two kidnapped for ransom. Only six of the 93 children that were abducted were found. Additional statistics are available for adults abducted during this period with a total of two hundred fifty five victims including a reported 16 rapes and 2 cases of kidnappings. Of these 255 adult abductions, six were recovered. According to the FIR, only nine persons were arrested but no convictions were returned in the courts.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also reported that in the first nine months of 2003 there were 128 cases of sexual harassment reported in Punjab with 83 attempted rapes, 36 cases of victims being stripped of their clothing and 10 sexual assaults. There were four arrests with no convictions.

Although the investigators of these statistics do not show any correlation with the statistics noted above, they report that in these same period reports of one thousand one hundred and sixty attempted suicides (430 women and 730 men). Two hundred sixty one women and four hundred forty three men succeeded in their suicide attempts. The leading reason for suicide amongst both sexes was domestic disputes. Other reasons included arranged and forced marriages, illnesses, poverty and financial situations. In reviewing statistics from the last five years, the numbers suggest that cases of harassment, abductions and suicide have leveled off but the cases of rape have more than doubled since General Pervez Musharaff became president of the country.[27]

In Pakistan, victims are primarily of Bangladeshi and Burmese origin, ranging in age from infants to elderly women. Of the many cases actually pursued by the LHRLA, there was a gross violation of basic rights in the case of 16 Bengali women who were arrested when discovered in the custody of a pimp. The police, on discovering them, rather then using them as witnesses against the pimp, arrested them and charged them under the Hudood Ordinance. LHRLA decided to plead their case and as a result, these women were finally acquitted. In another instance, Advocate Zia Ahmed Awan, the President of LHRLA, filed a petition for the release of thirty Bangladeshi women and children from jail. They had been imprisoned for four years on a trafficking charge. The release orders were given on 13 March 1997, and they returned home on March 16.

Bonded Child Labor

Bonded labor takes place when a family receives an advance payment (sometimes as little as U.S. $15) to hand a child—boy or girl—over to an employer. In most cases, the child cannot work off the debt, nor can the family raise enough money to buy the child back. The workplace is often structured so that “expenses” and/or “interest” are deducted from a child’s earnings in such amounts that it is almost impossible for a child to repay the debt (also refer to the story of Masha, p. 11).

In some cases, the labor is generational—that is, a child’s grandfather or great-grandfather was promised to an employer many years earlier, with the understanding that each generation would provide the employer with a new worker—often without pay.

Bonded labor, commonly referred to as debt bondage or peonage, was outlawed by the 1956 U.N. Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery. Bonded labor in Pakistan continues to be a growing problem today.

Camel Kids (Camel Jockeys)

The tradition of camel racing dates back hundreds of years. However, the jockeys were not children. Poverty, greed and sport have turned young children into valuable commodities. The deceived parents, in the hope of a better future for their children, are unaware of the dangers involved. The jockeys are mostly children from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sudan. The age of a camel jockey is between 2 and 10 years old.


Although the victims are just children, the reasons their parents allowed them to be taken is not very different to the same reasons families let their Russian daughters accept invitations to travel outside of their homelands for better futures. The LHRLA decided to investigate further and learned that camel kids had been used for organ transplants and drug trafficking as well. It was revealed that 19,000 children had been taken from rural and coastal areas. The outcry raised by LHRLA, other NGOs and international heads of states put pressure on the UAE to ban the import of camel jockeys; however very little has been done to date.

According to a recent article in the Islamabad News, “due to concerted efforts of the Embassy of Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 86 children were recovered and repatriated to Pakistan in 2002”. In order to curb the illegal business of human trafficking, the UAE government has affected stricter rules to regulate the work of camel jockeys in the popular sport of camel racing. Under the new regulations, children below 15 years of age and 45 kg weight are not allowed to be used as camel jockeys. Strict penalties, including imprisonment, have been laid down for any violation of this law.

Another case of “camel kids” was reported on May 6, 2003 by the Islamabad News about six Pakistani children who were deported from the UAE as illegal immigrants. Two of the children were interviewed in the article. They said that when they were taken to the UAE, they were first afraid of the camels and they used to cry and would not even go near them, but gradually their fears subsided. “Later, we were taught how to ride. Soon we were seen participating in races. The Sheikhs would give us prizes – Dirhams 50 or 100[28] – when we won, or would beat us severely if we lost a race. We never got any salary during our stay of nearly a couple of years. Our father might have received it,” they said.
Their father, Mohammed Siddique, said he met a Sheikh who was visiting Rahimyar Khan for houbara hunting[29]. “I was jobless and had six children – four boys and two girls – I asked him for a job and he offered three jobs – two for my young boys, Irshad and Shakeel, and one for me. The boys would get Dirham 300[30] each and I would get Dirham 400 per month[31], the Sheikh had told me. I, accompanied by my wife Parveen, took my children to the UAE nearly two years back and worked at the Sheikh’s farms near Al-Ain.
I used to look after the camels at the farm and my children started taking part in races. My wife returned home leaving the children, who were entered in her passport. She was caught on her return at the airport here, but after some understanding, she was let go and she went home. Now I have brought my children back,” he claimed. According to one of the fathers, “during our over a couple of years’ stay there, I saw many young children being crushed to death when the camels fell down. I used to pray for the safety of my children as I had seen many being crushed, and luckily during our over stay there, nothing serious happened to them,” he added.

According to various descriptions of camel racing, the child is strapped to the camel with a rope; the camel is whipped into frenzy and further propelled by the petrified shrieks of the confused and frightened child. In this business, where, according to a Newsline article, the preferred weight of jockeys is 19 to 20 kilograms and the limit is 40 kilograms, the younger and lighter the child, and the louder the scream of terror, the greater the speed of the camel. Many children die before the race is over either from fear or from being tossed by the animal or being dragged to death after being partially dislodged from the security rope binding the child to the animal. Prior to 1993, on average, a dozen innocent children lost their lives every week as camel jockeys. Arab Sheiks began purchasing children from Pakistan in the mid-1970s up until the late 1990’s when using young children for the sport were outlawed in the UAE.

NGOs and Human Trafficking

Local, regional and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of trafficking and to press for accountability. NGOs, particularly local groups, are carrying out desperately needed programs to warn girls and their families of the dangers of trafficking, shelter those who have managed to escape, provide urgent medical and psychological care, assist in repatriation, and press governments to strengthen domestic laws against trafficking.

NGOs in Pakistan have been instrumental in improving protections for trafficking victims, by raising public and official awareness of the trafficking of Bangladeshi women and girls into Pakistan. The Edhi Center in Karachi and Lahore, have helped to bail women out of jail and provide otherwise unavailable shelter to more than a hundred women at a time.[32]


Millions of workers in Pakistan are held in contemporary forms of slavery. Throughout the country, employers force labor from adults and children, restrict their freedom of movement, and deny them the right to negotiate the terms of their employment. Employers coerce such workers into servitude through physical abuse, forced confinement, and debt-bondage. The state offers these workers no effective protection from this exploitation. Although slavery is unconstitutional in Pakistan and violates various national and international laws, state practices support its existence. The state rarely prosecutes or punishes employers who hold workers in servitude. Moreover, workers who contest their exploitation are invariably confronted with police harassment, often leading to imprisonment under false charges, and min may cases punishment under the Hudood Ordinance.

Contemporary forms of slavery, which are set forth and defined in international law, include debt-bondage, serfdom, the trafficking of women, and child servitude. All of these forms of slavery exist in Pakistan. The International Labor Organization (ILO), in its World Labor Report 1993, assessed the problems of debt-bondage in Pakistan to be among the worst in the world. There are no reliable statistics on the number of bonded laborers. While some NGOs estimate that the numbers range into the millions; there is little doubt that at least thousands of persons in Pakistan are held in debt-bondage, many of them children. Bondage is particularly common in the areas of agriculture, brick-making, carpet-weaving, mining, and handicraft production.

Like Russia, this illicit trade in persons is a multibillion-dollar, criminally organized global industry. Traffickers use deception, force or coercion to move people into situations in which they are vulnerable and easily held in conditions of forced labor and slavery. Trafficked persons are often treated as criminals, rather than as victims of crime, while traffickers escape prosecution. Those who try to escape or seek help risk retaliation from traffickers.[33] Moreover, for those that are caught by the authorities they risk being punished under the Hudood Ordinance.

Bibliography (only including footnotes)

  1. (March 12, 2003) in Article 205, Sec. B of the Model Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons. US Department of State
  2. Angel Coalition website
  3. Binoo Sen, National Commission for Women India, Paper on Political Commitment
  4. CATW – Asia Pacific Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific (Excerpts taken from the Fact book on Global Sexual Exploitation, published by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women).
  5. CATW – Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific
  6. Copyright 2002 UN Foundation, UN Wire, April 19, 2002
  7. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices  – Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, US Department of State, March 31, 2003
  8. Department Of Criminal Investigations, Homicide Division, Moscow Region, St. Petersburg Police. June 1, 2003 St. Petersburg 10:55 pm
  1. Crisis Center for Women, Institute of Non-Discriminative Gender Interrelations, St. Petersburg June 4, 2003.

10.  Estimates by Human Rights organizations in Pakistan, Trafficking in Women and Children: The Cases of Bangladesh, p.14, UBINIG, 1995

11.  http://www.hrcp-web.org/women.cfm#

12.  http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2003/21262.htm#tiers

13.  http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2003/21276.htm

14.  Human Rights Watch, 350 Fifth Ave 34th Floor New York, N.Y. 10118

15.  Indrani Sinha, SANLAAP India, Paper on Globalization & Human Rights

16.  Kyle and Koslowski, 2001

17.  Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid are a leading NGO headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan.

18.  Masako Iijima, S. Asia urged to unite against child prostitutionReuters, 19 June 1998

  1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

20.  Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, 2001-2003

21.  Nausheen Ahmed, Rights-South Asia: Slavery Still A Thriving TradeIPS, 29 December 1997

22.  Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is a Presidential task force under the auspices of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs, US Department of State; CIA reports;

23.  President Bill Clinton, October 28, 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Act

24.  Russia battles its sex trade, Fred Weir, the Christian Science Monitor, May 15, 2001.

25.  Trafficking in Persons Report, US Department of State, Released by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. June 11, 2003

26.  Trafficking in Women and Children: The Cases of Bangladesh, p.8, UBINIG, 1995

27.  Tyranny of Hudood Laws, by Dr Farzana Bari. Publication: “The News”. May 14, 2002. [The

28.  Websites for the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI and CIA, the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, United Nations International Children’s Fund, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Protection Project, Anti-Slavery International and many others.

29.  Without a law, sexy slavery flourishes, Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, June 15, 2003.


Islam on Prostitution


We are looking for material related to prostitutes and prostitution. What does Islam say about prostitution? 


To fully understand the view of Islam regarding prostitution, I would first like to give you an example of a crime that would be more easily comprehendible for the modern world.

We all know that drinking alcohol is not a crime in the modern western world. However, even the greatest of the advocates of human freedom agree that driving an automobile in a state of drunkenness be considered a crime. The reason is quite simple. A drunk driving an automobile does not only endanger his own life, but is also a threat to the life of others. Thus, to save others from a potential harm, we do not permit him/her to drive an automobile in such a state. Likewise, although we allow a person to carry on any business to better his financial position, but we do not allow him to sell drugs (like heroine etc.). The reason again is quite simple. Such drugs are prone to cause great harm to those who use them. All such prohibitions are not only easily comprehendible but also necessary for the well being of the community.

Islam takes a wider perspective of the phrase “well being of the community”. According to the Islamic philosophy, “well being of the community” should not focus only on the physical and material well being of the community. Another important aspect (if not more important) of this well being, according to Islam, should include the moral and ethical well being of the community. It is on the basis of this fact that Islam prohibits prostitution. It holds a prostitute to be a person, who not only endangers her own morals but also that of the community. In view of this fact, the Prophet  (pbuh) subjected such people who endangered the moral standards of the Muslim community to punishments of “Fasaad fil Ardh[1].

Thus, prostitution can be severely punished by the Islamic State considering it a crime against the community, rather than an individual.

An important point that needs to be stressed is that the punishments under the Islamic law should be implemented, keeping in view not only the nature of the crime, but also other situational and contingent factors surrounding the crime and the particular criminal. Thus it is quite possible that a particular person, because of his peculiar circumstances, be allowed to correct his/her behavior and no punishment be implemented on him/her. For example, if the court of law is satisfied that a particular woman was forced into prostitution and was left with no option but to submit to the circumstances and if given a chance, she is likely to lead a good life, it may give her a chance of correction, rather than subject her to a severe punishment.

5th June 1999

Reference: Understanding Islam

The Holy Qu’raan

Discover the Holy Quran project. In this part we will read Surah Al-Munafiqun. Surah Al-Munafiqun is the 62nd Surah of the Holy Quran and is comprised of 11 verses. Let’s begin:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1- When the Hypocrites come to thee, they say, “We bear witness that thou art indeed the Messenger of Allah.”  Yea, Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His Messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars.

2- They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah. truly evil are their deeds.

3- That is because they believed, then they rejected Faith: So a seal was set on their hearts: therefore they understand not.

4- When thou lookest at them, their exteriors please thee, and when they speak, thou listenest to their words.  They are as (worthless as hollow) pieces of timber propped up, (unable to stand on their own).  They think that every cry is against them.  They are the enemies; so beware to them.  The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded (away from the Truth)!

5- And when it is said to them, “Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness,”  they turn aside their heads, and thou wouldst see them turning away their faces in arrogance.

6- It is equal to them whether thou pray for their forgiveness or not Allah will not forgive them.  Truly Allah guides not rebellious transgressors. 

7- They are the ones who say, “Spend nothing on those who are with Allah.s Messenger, to the end that they may disperse (and quit Medina).”  But to Allah belong the treasures of the heavens and the earth; but the Hypocrites understand not.

8- They say, “If we return to Medina, surely the more honorable (element) will expel therefrom the meaner.”  But honor belongs to Allah and His Messenger, and to the Believers; but the Hypocrites know not.

9- O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah.  If any act thus, the loss is their own.

10- and spend something (in charity) out of the substance which We have bestowed on you, before Death should come to any of you and he should say, “O my Lord! why didst Thou not give me respite for a little while?  I should then have given (largely) in charity, and I should have been one of the doers of the good.”

11- But to no soul will Allah grant respite when the time appointed (for it) has come; and Allah is well acquainted with (all) that ye do.



[1] That is, creating disturbance in the land. The punishments for ‘Fasaad fil Ardh’, as shall be explained in a later response, may vary from slightly lighter to extremely strict punishments. Furthermore, ‘Fasaad fil Ardh’ is one of the only two crimes with that of murder, which may be punishmed by death.


Human Trafficking: Facts & Figures

  • Sex Trafficking: Facts & Figures


The Protection Project

Sex Trafficking: Facts & Figures

– The United Nations estimates that 700,000 to 4 million women and children are trafficked around the world for purposes of forced prostitution, labor and other forms of exploitation every year. Trafficking is estimated to be a $7 billion dollar annual business.

– Victims of trafficking are subject to gross human rights violations including, rape, torture, forced abortions, starvation, and threats of torturing or murdering family members.

– Nearly every country is involved in the web of trafficking activities, either as a country of origin, destination or transit. Countries of destination include Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, France, India, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

– Traffickers recruit women and children through deceptive means including falsified employment advertisements for domestic workers, waitresses and other low-skilled work. Traffickers include those involved in highly sophisticated networks of organized crime and may be as close to home as a relative to the victim.

Women And War

– In August 2001, soldiers with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Eritrea were purchasing ten-year-old girls for sex in local hotels.

– Before the arrival of 15,000 UN troops in Cambodia in 1991, there were an estimated 1,000 prostitutes in the capital. Currently, Cambodia’s illegal sex trade generates $500 million a year. No less than 55,000 women and children are sex slaves in Cambodia, 35 percent of which are younger than 18 years of age.

– Over 5,000 women and children have been trafficked from the Philippines, Russia and Eastern Europe and are forced into prostitution in bars servicing the U.S. Military in South Korea

Who Are The Traffickers?

– Traffickers are … members of highly sophisticated networks of organized crime. Ukrainian officials uncovered and detained a criminal group in the city of Dnipropetrovsk, which trafficked Ukrainian girls and women to the United Arab Emirates. They made $2,000 on each girl forced into prostitution. This gang managed to traffic more than 15 Ukrainian young women aged between 16 and 30 to the United Arab Emirates.

– Traffickers are … family members and friends of the trafficking victim. A six-year-old boy, Mohammad Mamun, was taken from his poor Bangladeshi parents by a neighbor, and ended up in a foreign desert land being exploited as a camel jockey. Mamun is one of hundreds of young Bangladeshi boys who are trafficked into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) either after being abducted or sold by impoverished parents to human traffickers.

– Victims of trafficking are later used to traffic other women and children. Traffickers from Benin see themselves as helping the home community–facilitators for families looking for some extra income. One trafficker commented, “Every girl who travels and who doesn’t get deported is a potential sponsor for more.”

The Pay Off: Trafficking and Corruption

– Allegations have been brought against top Montenegrin government officials for their complicity in the forced prostitution, illegal detention, rape and torture of a 28-year old Moldovan woman, Svetlana. Six high-ranking government officials, and the country’s Deputy State Prosecutor, Zoran Piperovic, were arrested in December 2002 after Svetlana identified to the police names of traffickers, clients, and details of the nightclubs and cafes where the incidents took place. She has also testified that she had been routinely beaten, drugged, and had been returned by the police upon trying to escape on several occasions. Although the government has assured that the case will be fully investigated, all the detained officials have been since released from custody. Svetlana herself is being held under protection in a western European country.

– Victims of trafficking are afraid to testify or contact law enforcement due to their complicity with traffickers and pimps. In Israel, the Hotline for Migrant Workers made an appeal on behalf of three women who had testified that the same men that arrested them, had been clients at the brothel from which they were detained. In March 2002, a policeman charged with the buying of a trafficked woman and tipping brothel owners of police raids was sentenced to only six months of community service.

– In interviews carried out for an International Organization of Migration report, 10% of the women who had been trafficked to Albania stated that law enforcement officials had directly participated in the trafficking process.

Children Are Not Protected

– Children from Pakistan and Bangladesh are kidnapped or sold by their parents to traffickers who take them to Persian Gulf States including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to work as camel jockeys. These children 3 to 7 years of age and are malnourished to keep their weight below 35 pounds. They suffer physical abuse from the traffickers and work all day training camels. Many of these children suffer extreme injuries or death from falling off camels during the races.

– Child victims of trafficking are very vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Misconceptions that having sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS have fueled an increased demand for child prostitutes.

– Girls from 15 to 17 years of age are trafficked from Thailand and Taiwan to South Africa. Traffickers recruited these girls to work as waitresses or domestic workers. Once they arrive in South Africa they are forced into prostitution.

– Filipino children are trafficked to countries in Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and Southeast Asia, where they are sexually exploited. Traffickers loan parents a sum of money, which the girl must repay to the trafficker through forced prostitution. In one case, a Filipino woman rented her 9-year-old niece to foreign men for sex, and eventually sold her to a German pedophile.

Close to Home in the USA

– 50,000 women and children are trafficked into the United States from no less than 49 countries every year. As many as 750,000 women and children have been trafficked into the United States over the last decade.

– Women and children as young as 14 have been trafficked from Mexico to Florida and forced to have sex with as many as 130 clients per week in a trailer park. These women were kept hostage through threats and physical abuse, and were beaten and forced to have abortions. One woman was locked in a closet for 15 days after trying to escape.

– Cases of trafficking into the United States include women and children who are trafficked from Honduras to Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas; Latvia to Chicago; Mexico to Florida; Korea to Michigan; Japan to Hawaii; Cameroon to Maryland; Taiwan to Seattle; India to California; Vietnam to Atlanta.

– In Fresno, California Hmong gang members have kidnapped girls between the ages of 11 and 14 and forced into prostitution. The gang members would beat and rape them into submission. These girls were trafficked within the United States and traded between other Hmong communities.

Sexual Slavery, In The 21st Century

– The Cadena smuggling ring trafficked women, some as young as 14, from Mexico to Florida. The victims were forced to prostitute themselves with as many as 130 men per week in a trailer park. Of the $25 charged the “Johns” the women received only $3. The Cadena members kept the women hostage through threats and physical abuse. One woman was kept in a closet for 15 days for trying to escape. Some were beaten and forced to have abortions (the cost of which was added to their debt). The women worked until they paid off their debts of $2,000 to $3,000.

– Domestic servants in some countries of the Middle East are forced to work 12 to 16 hours a day with little or no pay, and subject to sexual abuse such as rape, forced abortions, and physical abuse that has resulted in death.

– Traffickers in many countries in West Africa take girls through voodoo rituals in which girls take oaths of silence and are often raped and beaten, prior to their leaving the country. They are also forced to sign agreements stating that, once they arrive in another country, they owe the traffickers a set amount of money. They are sworn to secrecy and given detailed accounts of how they will be tortured if they break their promise. Traffickers have taken women and young girls to shrines and places of cultural or religious significance; they remove pubic and other hair and then perform a ceremony of intimidation.


Copyright 2010- The World Revolution & The Protection Project.  All rights reserved.  Protected through the Fair Use provision of the United States Copyright Law, Intellectual Property law, and international law.

For more information and a breakdown of human trafficking statistics by country, please visithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Human_trafficking_by_country

Most academic associations do not allow the use of Wikipedia due to the fact that anyone can edit documents on Wikipedia.  However, those sentences with footnotes are backed by other sources as well.

 Archive:2 December 2003

13 JANUARY, 2009

“Dens of prostitution”


Possibly not putting himself in line to win one of DTCM’s 2009 Excellence in Journalism awards, Yusuf Abdulla tells it like it is:

“There is also another side to Dubai’s booming market. Most large hotels are little more than dens of prostitution. Hotels are permitted to issue guest permits to bring people from outside. In order to attract customers, many hotels bring girls from Central Asia, Russia, Romania and Western Europe. These girls are provided free accommodation in the hotel for three months while they are expected to service hotel guests. Each hotel has a club where girls enter for free while men must pay 100 dirhams. Alcohol is available and consumed in large quantities. Customers come to these clubs to pick up foreign girls. It has been pointed out to the authorities in Dubai that they are sitting on a time bomb. Girls with such loose moral character are likely to be infected with the AIDS virus. There are already reports of AIDS spreading among the local population because of the behavior of emirati men who then infect their wives.”

Interesting how the “girls” are the ones accused of “loose moral character”. Not the pimps and slavers that traffic them to Dubai. Nor the hotels who act as brothelmasters. Nor their clients. Or even the unnamed people who “expect” them to provide this service.

An interesting choice of nationalities too. Along with Russia and the CIS: Eastern Europe, Morocco, Africa and China would be more like it.






Anonymous Anonymous said…



13 JANUARY, 2009 16:16
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Dear Secret Dubai Diary,

Would you please post the web link of where this article appears.

Thank you.

13 JANUARY, 2009 18:48
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Also from the article:

“Whether Dubai will achieve its dream of becoming the hub of property and tourist attraction is debatable. What is becoming certain is that it is leading the way in becoming the AIDS capital of the Middle East.”

Biggest man made islands, tallest towers, most disease-ridden ho’s, most cases of aids !!!! Wow, Dubai really is the bestest and has the mostest in everything… Dubai, the winningest capital of winningy capitals.

13 JANUARY, 2009 20:09
Anonymous Anonymous said…

What are you smoking? Anyone who has been in Dubai over three days knows women were born sinful. Only Man was created in God’s image, therefore can do no wrong.

14 JANUARY, 2009 03:42
Anonymous sheanonymous said…

Of course there are a lot of girls from western europe, everybody knows that western europe is a den of iniquity. 
I am only surprised that there was no mention of girls from america, but perhaps an author could not imagine anybody so evil to be in dubai. 
** sarcasm off

14 JANUARY, 2009 07:02
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Prostitution is not a bad things. Uneducated prostitutes and no regulations for testing is what causes the spread of STD. All residence get tested in the Emirates every three years. But the working ladies come on visit visas and renew for several months thus are not tested. The Dubai government should take steps to test these girls or open anonymous testing centers. 

But in the dubai logic disappears. I see it in all Muslim countries. Problems exits but are hidden or shied away from in order to keep their so called honor. Like Irans huge heroin problem, Duabi will not admit there is a problem because acutally there are no prostitutes here and HIV only infects infidels.

Wake up Dubai and regulate prostitution! 

BTW the most expensive prostitutes on the market are Emirati women. Hard to find but very delicious and fun. And everyone knows emirati men like little boys.

14 JANUARY, 2009 11:54
Anonymous bnr said…

For second “anonymous” commenter:http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/58509

Generally following hyperlinks is quite easy, & I am concerned at lack of response by Secret Dubai.

Is she one of thos Western Women, hence unavailable overnight?! lol

14 JANUARY, 2009 13:19
Anonymous nrb said…

This site is becoming so tabloid in nature!

The article is primarily about the Dubai property market, whereas SD reads to bottom of article, well actually penultimate paragraph, and posts that.

Why did SD not post final sentences?

Whether Dubai will achieve its dream of becoming the hub of property and tourist attraction is debatable. What is becoming certain is that it is leading the way in becoming the AIDS capital of the Middle East.

14 JANUARY, 2009 13:25
Anonymous Anonymous said…

it’s her blog mate, and she will post whatever jackshit that takes her fancy, with or without the final paragraph. just like dubai PR makes up all the bullshit.

14 JANUARY, 2009 13:34
Blogger Undercover Dragon said…

Hey. Nice post. love the blog BTW SD


14 JANUARY, 2009 22:29
Anonymous Anonymous said…

@13 January, 2009 16:16

Haha, nice video. No FEMALE prostitutes though.

15 JANUARY, 2009 22:42
Anonymous Anonymous said…

when westerners hate you, you know you’re doing well.

16 JANUARY, 2009 10:04
OpenID omanvirtually said…

Unfortunately your neighbour – Oman – is also swamped; the Chinese girls tout for men at Coffee shops during the football and in the main up-scale shopping are (SABCO) what appear to have been Omani girls were soliciting. Their Pimps are so powerful they think they can stand up to ex-ministers

16 JANUARY, 2009 19:36
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Dear SD,

I have been following your blog for the last year (2008). That was the time that I thought of moving to Dubai from Ottawa. Well Im here now, have been for the last six months. In that time I think I have witnessed everything this blog talks about. I must say I am disappointed. Yes prostitution is more prevalent than in Amsterdam, its practically legal, but what worries me is the lack of respect between people. It is very disturbing that such a prosperous society has no regard towards any form of human decency. I could not believe that what I read on your blog was true. I always give the benefit of the doubt but Dubai, wow! Dubai is not compatible with the norms of society I have lived with. In fact I could never bring up my children here. Yes, I am leaving, not because of the tough economic times but because Duabi has only one direction, that is profit and greed. I cannot and will not bring up my children up in a society that is devoid of any kind of cultural norms or decency. The first time i herd of the term “hyper capitalism” was when I was in high school, it refers to a flawed society in which money rules above all. It was science fiction then. When I moved here, it became science fact. Anyway, wish I took your blog seriously it would have saved me lots time. To all those out there, this blog gives you a true idea of Dubai, what ever it may try be. Just want to tell those parents who think that this is paradise, its not. I think its a regression from humanity, you owe it to your children not to bring them up here. Canada gives so much more and ask so little. We cant wait to move back.

Best of luck to all.

17 JANUARY, 2009 05:33
Blogger secretdubai said…

Anyway, wish I took your blog seriously it would have saved me lots time. To all those out there, this blog gives you a true idea of Dubai, what ever it may try be. 

The sad thing is that you never got the chance to experience Dubai of six or seven years ago, as I did, when it was a much nicer place than now. The boom was just beginning, DMC and DIC were new, there was a real sense of optimism and growth. 

Of course none of us really knew what it would mean.

If you ever do get the chance to read some of my earliest entries, there are many things that I loved and adored about Dubai back then. Partly I had the rose coloured glasses of novelty on, everything was new and different and it was a huge adventure.

And partly – regrettably – it was because I had the glasses of ignorance on. I wasn’t looking behind the scenes and thinking what led to the five star treatment for expats, or the speed in which they could put up a new building, or the cheapness of taxi cabs or cleaners or workpeople.

All that dawned just as Dubai exploded into the megapolis of consumerism, traffic, concrete hell towers, greed, racism, exploitation and inequality that it is today. That is not what the vision should have been. There should have been a clearer vision for the sustainable, the meaningful, preserving traditions while being progressive in a measured and compassionate way.

Sure those things have always been there – they are there in any society – but the Vision led their expansion, intensification and exacerbation when it should have done the reverse. There should have been no workers still living in slum like conditions, not hundreds of thousands more.

I am sorry you got the worst of it. But I am glad that you are the sort of person that was able to see the reality so quickly and clearly. I do think it is possible to live in Dubai and raise a family in a healthy way. I just think that it is infinitely harder to do so than in any country with proper social equality and political accountability.

17 JANUARY, 2009 09:37
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Dear SD,

Thank you for your reply. Keep up the good work on the blog, I will continue to visit it hoping that things get better for all those living in Dubai.

17 JANUARY, 2009 13:09
Blogger zeeshan rahat kureshi said…

Not only local emirati men but foreigners from all over the world, specially europe and US use these girls. Dubai is decaying not only financially but morally too.

My blogs:



17 JANUARY, 2009 21:37
Anonymous sunil said…

ah alas the long debated issue.

how is it possible that porn channels on youtube are blocked (heck the entire site is) yet you can do down your building, walk across the corner and hire 7 prostitutes?

can someone spell hypocrite?


18 JANUARY, 2009 00:41
Anonymous Anonymous said…

People, you have missed the point. Prostitution is not the problem. God bless these ladies whom have decided, for better or for worse, to work in the sex trade. The issue is exploitation and the lack of regulation. i have seen in dubai these free spirited ladies get abused and molested and they have no legal recourse. In fact they are not even treated as humans buy the dubai government. They are people whos rights need to be respected. Until their profession is regulated they will continue to be the big losers.

Only a small percentage like there job and thats all they have. They come from abused backgrounds and dubai to them is a fantasy. Dubai feeds on their misfortune. God bless them all.

18 JANUARY, 2009 01:56
Anonymous Anonymous said…

It is very disturbing that such a prosperous society has no regard towards any form of human decency.

This is the norm in all the GCC sandpits. It has nothing to do with greed or consumerism; it is an Arab cultural aspect.

18 JANUARY, 2009 08:20
Anonymous Anonymous said…

funny that prostitution is kept alive to promote tourism

18 JANUARY, 2009 12:21
Anonymous Anonymous said…

well some people are finally getting the reality. and to think some still say all this is written because westerners hate dubai’s success….:-)

18 JANUARY, 2009 16:04
Anonymous sunil said…

SD, how do I get in touch with you via email? Your blog has no contact info. If you don’t feel comfortable listing your ID (understandable) kindly click on my name and it will lead to my website. You can contact me there and I can reply. I live in the USA and operate a high traffic website on dubai city. thanks

18 JANUARY, 2009 20:32
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Funny thing is that booze and whores launched Dubai. This place had brothels under tents by Port Rasheed in the 70s. The genius of H.H Shk. Maktoum was to move the whores indoors in prefab, air conditioned, barracks. The rest as they say is history. Oh, and the fact that Sharjah decided to go dry and Dubai opened the booze taps also helped.
Then came the money laundering banks but that is another story folks.

19 JANUARY, 2009 00:52
Blogger Patricia said…

Prostitution is universal. It has always existed and always will. It thrives in the west and the east, in wealthy and poor countries, and, no matter what the prevailing religion might be. Prostitution is part of all human societies, though through the years, some societies have repressed it somewhat, by criminalizing it and imposing harsh penalties. Like death.

The more significant issue in Dubai, I believe,is the fact that in one generation, the local culture went from being a closed, traditional society to being a very open and modern society. The adjustment has, of course, been difficult. Some people have easily adapted to a new reality, while others are struggling to keep a hold on past ways. Then you pour foreigners from all corners of the globe… and tons of money… into the country. This will inevitably create a volatile mix. 

And then, along comes a dire world economic crisis. One has to hope that there are smart, benevolent, respectful people in power paying attention as this all unfolds. 

My goal is to play golf in Dubai in 09. Hope it works out. :o)

19 JANUARY, 2009 08:08
Anonymous Songothim said…

The vision is dead!

19 JANUARY, 2009 08:34
Blogger secretdubai said…

Hi Sunil,

You can reach me at my username here at gmail.



19 JANUARY, 2009 09:49
Anonymous sheanonymous said…

Of course prostitution is universal. 
The problem with prostitution is not a prostitution by itself but the refusal to acknowledge that in your country you have a prostitution. The problem is not prostitutes but the people who use them and do not want to admit that they do. The problem also lie with people who want to use prostitutes but blame their “want” on prostitutes not on their own hormones/lack of restraint. The problem is that the prostitutes are looked on as something not human or at best partly human and blamed for things which are not their faults.

I am also not sure if local society become so open and modern. The emirati have all gadgets of modernity but I believe that majority of emirati society itself is neither modern nor open.(by ermirati I mean citizens of UAE) 
I think not many ex-pats have emirati close friends and not many emirati have many western or non-emirati friends. 
I don’t know if I am right, am I?

19 JANUARY, 2009 10:32
Anonymous Persian Gulf said…

That clip is sooooo funny ! 
Well done, whoever made it !

19 JANUARY, 2009 20:23
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Which hotels and/or areas are the most affected by prostitution?

23 JANUARY, 2009 17:23
Anonymous Anonymous said…


Good Blog….

I think that you should be careful not to become very negative about everything. This may blind you and lead to hatred. 

I agree with the comments. You cannot regulate somehting when you do not admit it exists !! 

The main cause of all sort of problems in the UAE is the fact that self interests come first, especially in Duabi, where no body cares about the public interest. 

I have to assure you all that the majority of Emaraties are not happy with whats going on in Duabi (we all share that). But in a complicated system like ours which is based on loyalty it is hard to do anything about it. 

The Emaraties still have a long way to go in regard to understanding and becoming more aware of what equality and human rights means. They also need some time to get red of the religious and tribal shackles, which are the main cause of racism and inequality(even among Emaraties).

It is a matter of time and improvement of the educational system.

First step is to accpet crititism (not to take it personally)and admit the mistakes and defects. 

To sheanonymous: 

I am an Emarati (Citizen) and i have western friends, not colleagues but actuall friends who i hang out with and exchange family visits. 


27 JANUARY, 2009 03:21
Anonymous Anonymous said…

no prostitutes, no dubai, lets face it, there are hundreds of thousands of prostitiutes, just go to rattle snake its full of whores! or any bar in bur dubai, and those are the cheap ones, go to the nice nightclubs and u get the more expensive russians, and offcourse the emiraties love the morroconas cos they can dress them up in abaya and they will look local, every english man and western man uses prostititues, why do you think there are so many STD’s amongst expat western men, and lets not forget the emiraties, and little labourers, who use the 10dhs ones on bank street..even the airhostess for emirates are big whores, not in the conventianl way, but find a rich boyfriend, sleep with him, get him to buy her(or him, just check out gaydar its full of nasty EK male hos) loads of presents, then ditch him! but if dubai didnt have its prostitutes, it wouldnt be as fun and crazy, thats why we like it no?

27 JANUARY, 2009 16:11
Anonymous S. P. D. said…

Hey SD,

Regular reader, first time commenter. Please don’t stop what you do – even though the blog is blocked in Dubai. That is exactly what they want to happen. You bring fresh perspective and inside information on the real Dubai. Once I finally move back to Dubai (this September) I intend to continue reading this blog, Etisalat be damned. Keep it up.

S. P. D.

27 JANUARY, 2009 22:38
Anonymous Anonymous said…

I have lived in Dubai for 5 years out of the last nine and I have often visited the bars where there are many prostitutes. 

I made good friends with several groups of African women – from Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria. They are just normal human 

beings doing a really tough job for the sake of their families back home. They are not evil, they are not immoral. The huge 

majority of them have a plan and a mission to send money home and set up their families with a home and a business, then, 

with luck, they can return after more than 10 years doing that awful job, without their families knowing what they were really doing. If you are serious about helping them, do what I am doing and put your money where your mouth is. I have now sent 4 girls back to their country – one in Ethiopia, two in Uganda and one in Nigeria. I have built the house / funded the business and educated the children. I have changed their lives and set them free. The families are so happy and see that they have a future which is of their own making. I visit them all several times a year to see that the money is being well spent and to offer advice if it is requested, but mostly to be part of a family who has been given a small chance and made the most of it. The best thing you can do for these girls is to get them away from Dubai, back home, and assist them to be independent and most important of all to support the education of the children. All the kids I see in these families want to be at school, but often their parents cannot afford the simplest things like shoes, uniforms, books and pens. It is a ridiculously small amount of money needed to ensure a child is educated. Similarly it costs very little to fund a simple business of THEIR choosing. Do it now, believe me I know how joyous it is to change the lives of these brave people.

28 JANUARY, 2009 15:59
Anonymous Anonymous said…

to the above comment. God bless you.

01 FEBRUARY, 2009 22:36
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Shitty city full of radars and ignorant yemeni police that are afraid of sheiks and other towel heads with influence.

Not worth visiting, just a 1hr transit piss in the airport and leave

02 FEBRUARY, 2009 15:56
Blogger secretdubai said…

I’ve put a link up to the Dubai Info site seeing as it’s relevant to the main subject here.

I’ve deleted a link to a non-related site about cars, sorry, but that’s just not relevant material for a link swap.

I’ve also deleted a post in Arabic with a link to a site that is also 100% in Arabic. I can’t read Arabic (save for a few words – hummous, dubai, and my own name) so I can’t check what’s being said.

I can just about manage French. If you want to comment in French feel free, and I’ll do my best to post an English translation.

And thank you every one else for all the great comments!

08 FEBRUARY, 2009 09:54
Anonymous Anonymous said…

We love u SD. Keep doing what you are doing. Yes, your blog is a blessing. Keep it up.

20 FEBRUARY, 2009 00:21
Anonymous LPG_Caracas_Venezuela said…

Saludos desde venezuela. He visitado tu blog. Muy bueno. No olvide visitar el mio www.lapatriagrande.net
Regards from Venezuela. I visit your bolg. Very Good. Visit my blog http://www.lapatriagrande.net
What do you think about the crisis?
Red my articole about the crisis in www.lapatriagrande.net or www.folliero.it Thanks

26 FEBRUARY, 2009 22:58
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Thanks for all that I did not know about Dubai. Somebody mentioned in one of the blogs about most Emarati men going after young boys. I can second that and would like to add that this is not only in UAE but very prevalent in countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq,Kuwait, Qatar (most Arab countries). In Saudi, it is very risky to leave your child – boys especially (girls are safe) out of site even for a short time. If you are living in a building, your neighbour could target your boy. Abuses happen everywhere and everytime and who will you complain to? The police? they are also of the same type and take it very lightly. Most boys targeted are Indian, Pakistani, Bengali ones that are helpless and weak. It does not mean Arab boys are safe and have immunity from these boy rapers and molesters. Arab schools are where boys get badly abused by the teachers and principles and fellow students. Especially,if your boy is good looking, he is not safe. Arab boys too, when they have to take revenge, they gang rape boys. 
They prey on boys and threaten not to speak or complain.

Not safe countries for young boys or even bring up your children.

May these people who prey upon and abuse innocent and take advantage of helpless kids and people pay a heavy price one day. Amen.

Man against Child and Human Abuse

04 MARCH, 2009 07:38
Anonymous Anonymous said…

The govt of dubai has mixed progression with prostitution and alcohol.The next generations of UAE,specially of dubai will not remember the tallest, the longest, the biggest, the widest but the CANCER that was willfully brought by rulers of this time.Dubai would be held responsible by historians for this crime. They should have concentrated on becoming a technological hub in the region with transfer of technology like singapore, malaysia,,,rather they chose night clubs, pretty girls, alcohol and social immorality…Let the history shape up true comments

26 MAY, 2009 14:12
Anonymous Anonymous said…

Of course there is another side of Dubai, like any other residence in the world. I have not only lived in Dubai for the past two years, but lived throughout Europe, South and North America; are things that very different in these other places? NO. A centuries long tradition of prostitution exists everywhere; observed by my own two eyes, but after reading this thread, I have found myself asking tow distinct questions; Dubai HIV rates through prostitution, and cultural adaptation due to prostitution. 

In regards to HIV, this is a global pandemic that effects all walks of life; I agree there are professions of higher risk, prostitution being one of them. Most of these girls are well aware of the risks associated with their line of work; therefore, are HIV rates greater in Dubai beyond what is being observed on a global scale? NO. Majority of these woman require a condom being used at all costs. Essentially, most professionals are very educated and test themselves regularly, unlike the general population, as they are very concerned about this pandemic as well. As I am well educated on the risks and transmission of HIV, it is my opinion, of those who contract the disease fail to use condom sense; a practice again used wisely in the UAE; a very educated Expat community.

In regards to cultural adaptivity to prostitution? I have to wonder why, we as a society should blind ourselves or our children from such activities. If I do not educate or inform my 2 year daughter that young women sell themselves for sex; do they simply not exist at this point? This type of rhetoric and methodology is misinformed and causes sever consequences in the future; why should we not educate our young on the true atmosphere that we have created as human beings. You may reiterate all kinds of gospels from all races and religions, but yet again, indications that prostitution was a well established entity of any century is well established. Simply abandoning the fact does not obscure the fate of our children, but educating our young will change the future on what other opportunities are outside of this type of profession. For the guy who previously posted, Canadian, who abandoned his position here in Dubai due to the number of sex workers and raising a child; open the internet back in Montreal or Quebec, 30 minutes or less, you too will have a hooker at your door; only exception here is that they have moved to the digital age; you are an idiot. As i have stated before, i have lived here for the past 2 years, and yes, if i wanted a hooker, I can easily get one; bur Dubai for example; yet, I do have a wife and family, and I have no problems going out on the town or having a drink without being propositioned; liked anywhere in this world, you can find a hooker if you look for them. You will not cultural adapt to become a prostitute because others around you have chosen this profession; again economics and family upbringing. Unfortunately, we cannot all be welcomed to the world with a million dollars, so finally look into yourself and the history of the world, in regards to the, fact that prostitution is well in Demand globally. Ultimately, Stop going to hooker bars if you do not want to get propositioned. You are an idiot if you believe that prostitution is an isolated event and that you can shelter your family and friends beyond your home town, so I must reiterate that education is the best key for both our young to choose other options in life and for the people who choose to have sex with hookers for sex; use a condom. 


20 JUNE, 2009 01:05
Anonymous Anonymous said…

I am an American woman working in Kuwait. I have taken several trips to Dubai, Qatar, and Bahrain. Let me just say I have been so disturbed by what I have seen in these areas. I question whether I would ever be able to trust a man. I know not all men are cheaters and liars, but based on what I’ve seen here, most are… 

I am even more embarrassed by the amount of men from the U.S. partaking in the sex industry. I do believe that most people are capable of anything, and it is up to society to keep each other in check. I do NOT believe that prostitution is inevitable, and we should just except it. Slavery was the norm for quite sometime, and still is in a few areas, more like indentured servitude now, but does that mean we should just except it and regulate it?? Abusing women is common all over the globe, and yes prostitution is a form of abuse on women, should we just except it?? 

I REALLY don’t believe you can compare doing a search online and seeing some pictures, to watching 3teenager hookers walk out of an apartment with a 70 year old man. Not even in the same ballpark. Or not being able to leave a grocery store without being propositioned. I can honestly tell you, prostitution isn’t nearly as common in the U.S. You have to look for it, it doesn’t find you. I can’t leave my apartment building in Kuwait with out seeing a bunch of Asian/Phillipino women hailing cabs outside used up from the night before. Then the next week I watch the wife and children of these men walk in to the same apartment several young girls were just in the week before. It makes my stomach turn, and my heart grows colder everytime. 

A guy I work with said he had never used a prostitute and never would. He was spending a lot of time with a group of guys that said “it is the norm, everybody does it, it isn’t cheating, it is the worlds first profession”, and a month later watched him walk in a back room with a hooker his friend had reccomended. His wife showed up two weeks later none the wiser. My blood begins to boil just writing this. If you need to have sex with multiple women, then don’t get married, or get in a relationship. It seems that people lose all sense of morals when over here. 



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