Lahore: Pakistani authorities have uncovered a prostitution ring and arrested a man who allegedly used the garb of a "talent promoter" to send young girls to Dubai.
The Federal Investigation Agency arrested 'talent promoter' Asif Ali on a tip off that he sends young girls to Dubai for flesh trade.
After the arrest, two girls who were leaving for Dubai were stopped by an immigration official at the Lahore airport last week and were barred from leaving the country despite having 'genuine visa'.
The girls first said they were just dancers but on being grilled by FIA officials, they confessed that they had been forced into prostitution by their promoters and family members.
The girls also agreed to testify in court against Ali and others for sending young girls like them to Dubai for prostitution.
One of the girls told the FIA that her friend told her that after paying the commission to a night club in Dubai she managed to save at least USD 100 per day.
She said in Pakistan they hardly made Rs 5,000 per day and so were attracted to travel to Dubai.
The FIA, after taking a written undertaking from both girls, let them go home.
Pakistan has long been an important source of cheap labour for the Gulf state, particularly for its booming construction sector. But, officials say, hundreds of young Pakistani women are also trafficked every year to supply the thriving sex trade in the brothels and nightclubs of Dubai.
It was the most difficult task to stop such girls from proceedings to Dubai and other Gulf destinations as they had "valid visas", FIA Lahore region Director Dr Usman Anwer said.
"Tracking down such gangs (is difficult) since the girls and promoters are leaving the country for Dubai on genuine visas and the authorities have no legal ground to stop them from travelling unless they are tipped off," he said.
"The FIA's efforts are aimed at freeing the oppressed girls from slavery," he said, adding that the agency had started preparing the list of dubious talent promoters in Lahore after this incident.
"We have taken up this challenge and we will put up our best effort to stop the exploitation of young women at the hands of such elements," he said.
Anwer clarified that the FIA would not arrest the two girls.