Shady businesses: DHA parlours offer ‘something more’

Published: September 2, 2013
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Tucked away on mezzanine floors or in buildings away from the main roads, the massage centres are offering both male and female masseurs. “Which one would you like to have?” a worker at one such facility opposite Le Grand café on Zamzama asked. PHOTO: FILE.

Tucked away on mezzanine floors or in buildings away from the main roads, the massage centres are offering both male and female masseurs. “Which one would you like to have?” a worker at one such facility opposite Le Grand café on Zamzama asked. PHOTO: FILE.

KARACHI: 

At a residential building in DHA’s Khadda market, a small sign hangs over its narrow steps. ‘A family resides upstairs. No one is allowed to come up’, it says.

The message is meant for visitors to the beauty salon below to make sure they don’t wander upstairs. This is how several residents of the commercial areas are trying to protect themselves and their children from small-scale massage centres that have mushroomed over the years. Neighbours believe these parlours are providing services beyond massages and fear prostitution in the vicinity is in full swing.

After one such massage centre opened in Badar commercial sometime ago, residents pressurised the authorities to close it down. “Every day, rickshaws filled with girls would come to the building,” a neighbour recalled. “Their clients, who were other rickshaw drivers, would go inside for hours and park their vehicles all around.” Things went out of hand one day when some drunken men came out of the centre and fired shots in the air. “We knew we had to take action then.”

Even the shopkeepers in the vicinity are perturbed. “The places where such centres are located are called ‘badnaam’ areas so people are unwilling to come and shop,” said the owner of a boutique located a few steps away from one such massage parlour on Zamzama. “That is why we don’t have much business here.” When the number of complaints grew, a former vigilance director of DHA said they carried out an operation against 10 parlours that were involved in prostitution. “Last December, the police and the vigilance committee carried out a joint operation in Badar and Tauheed commercial areas, and parts of Phase II, where we caught people red-handed.” The director admitted that it was difficult for them to access some salons as they were being patronised by powerful men. “Those running the centres had links with the police or some other influential men.”

‘Something more’

Tucked away on mezzanine floors or in buildings away from the main roads, the massage centres are offering both male and female masseurs. “Which one would you like to have?” a worker at one such facility opposite Le Grand café on Zamzama asked.

The massage in such centres costs from Rs2,500 going up to Rs3,000 per visit. “We offer big rooms with no disturbance,” the girl winked as two male customers walked in for a body massage. Other shady salons are heavily guarded by men who do not let anyone walk in, and require a reference.

Harbouring criminals?

Police officers believe that parlours offering sexual services in DHA are leading to an increase in crime in the neighbourhood. “Those coming in for services belong to impoverished areas,” said a senior officer of the Clifton division. “Most of them are criminals and are involved in mugging, robberies and monitoring their targets to demand extortion.” Even though they are aware of their presence, the police insist they are helpless. “We cannot conduct more raids because of pressure by our seniors.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • TypicalPakistani
    Sep 2, 2013 - 1:42AM

    Can we go back to 60s and practice whatever we like peacefully ?

    Recommend

  • Jeena Javid
    Sep 2, 2013 - 2:02AM

    With all the crazy violence in Karachi –so having an escort service is bad? Let me see where I read in the headlines that fun sex was responsible for the killing fields of Karachi!
    Who do you think frequent such parlors…the religious thumpers who want YouTube banned and blame the West for all their sins!

    Recommend

  • haroon
    Sep 2, 2013 - 8:12AM

    The only solution to all the problems of karachi is de politicizing the police. Unless police is not independant and strong enough, crimes of all types will continue in karachi for ever.

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  • Blunt
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:12AM

    Wht ET is getting increasingly interested these days in publicizing the ‘shady business’ through extensive coverage. I smell something fishy here.

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  • s
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:25AM

    To both the above commenters,
    Not everyone can afford to live in a residential area. Try living with your family in such an area. Every girl who walks out of her house is gawked at like she is one of those who are offering these services.

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Sep 2, 2013 - 9:34AM

    The point to note is the DHA residents have biggest problem with the poor non professional people coming to their neighborhoods. As long as local elite go to these massage parlors with happy endings it is not that objectionable.

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  • Javed Khan Usmani
    Sep 2, 2013 - 1:17PM

    Karachi should be in federal rule as it was before the dictator ayub took capital to punjab

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  • help
    Sep 2, 2013 - 1:24PM

    Any good ones in islamabad? Can anyone point ?

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  • I am a Khan
    Sep 2, 2013 - 1:39PM

    This is the second article in a row on this topic. is this some sort of advert for these places? what a shame.

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  • Javeria Mahmood
    Sep 2, 2013 - 2:26PM

    @I am a Khan:

    I thought the same

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  • Acorn Guts
    Sep 2, 2013 - 3:44PM

    If there is demand; there is supply .. I suppose this simple concept truly is difficult to understand to us as a nation because we simply thrive on hypocrisy behind veil of sheer ignorance when it comes to matters as such.Recommend

  • angry citizen
    Sep 2, 2013 - 5:06PM

    i dont see any harm in having happy ending massage centres, but yes these places should not be operational in residential areas. Recommend

  • sick of this nonsense
    Sep 2, 2013 - 7:37PM

    @TypicalPakistani:
    practicing what ever one likes peacefully does not mean getting drunk in public and firing in the air.

    Recommend

  • rasha
    Sep 2, 2013 - 7:38PM

    Its so sad that they are worried about people from impoverished areas coming to their DHA, so those people do not have a right to come into the posh areas.. just shows how instead of looking at the real problem they attribute it to the poor.. because after all those people don’t have a right to come into areas where the rich live!

    Recommend

  • Farheen
    Sep 2, 2013 - 10:52PM

    wonder how many people went to check out this place opposite le grande…place sure got free publicity with this articleRecommend

  • Sep 3, 2013 - 3:15AM

    @Farheen:
    I think the place will now shut down and open someone else.

    Recommend

  • wink wink
    Sep 3, 2013 - 1:01PM

    The question is what Dr Alvi is doing to curb this filthy menace .We voted for him .

    Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Sep 3, 2013 - 10:28PM

    Every one inluding government officials, politician and diplomats are behind the shady business of massage centres in DHA, but what people sitting at the helm of affairs of DHA Office in Karachi are doing?

    Do the DHA officials have any social responsibility to bring this menace to an end or DHA Officials only want to remain as silent spectator, as probably DHA Officials may also be enjoying the happy ending of massage centers since these massage centers are lying within their jurisdiction.

    Recommend

  • Hasan Abidi
    Sep 3, 2013 - 11:05PM

    I think its none of anybody’s bzness, wat goes on within the domain of these parlors ( as long as public safety is not threatened).

    Its purely a personal n private matter….Period.

    If u dont want to hire their services, good 4 u….look the other way.

    And for those who do, good for them as well….

    Wen wd v learn the universally practiced norm of ‘ minding one’s bzness ‘ ?

    Wen wd b just GROW UP as a damn nation ?

    Simply sick of this in the face ghairat brigade and morality mantra, drilled into the psyche of this nation, day in n day out…..

    Jesus !

    HASAN ABIDI
    hasanwazir1@gmail.com

    Recommend

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