The Secret Lives of Internet Cafes II

Posted by sepoy on August 24, 2004 · 3 mins read

My most popular post seems to be this one which got posted on some desi chat rooms and now I get 50 hits a day from people looking to find pictures of some net cafe action. Not here, people. Nothing to see.
I want to give an update that, according to today's Daily Jang editorial, the government is indeed passing regulation governing internet cafes in Pakistan. I translate:

According to reports, it has been decided that a regulatory commission will be created to oversee and legislate Internet Cafes. For this purpose, a legislative act will soon be presented to the Cabinet. This decision was made in response to public outcry against pronography emanating from these cafes. The owners of such cafes will also be issued strict guidelines including removing all shaded windows in the cabins with clear glass, keeping a strict journal of cafe users and separate facilities for women.
Reports have recently surfaced that these internet cafes are used to propogate pornography and seditious activity in the neighborhoods. Other reports have blamed the cafes as gathering places for anti-societal elements. Therefore, the decision by the goverment to stop such activities and monitor such establishments through a committee is a positive and welcome one. However, like many other issues, this should not be a cursory step - but these problems must be eradicated. The Internet is a modern and revolutionary medium of knowledge and our youth will undoubtedly learn from it but without proper supervision, it will become the source of many societal evils.
Many nations of the world have taken similair steps but we haven't even managed to ban obscene websites here. Especially, to protect the young generation from character-deforming evils (uh, ikhlaki buriaN), the Government needs to take effective measures.

As pointed out at KO, the Pakistani State is quite industrious in banning anti-Musharraf sites, and this step will further encroach any freedom of information in Pakistan. Because, make no mistake, this is not about whether internet cafes distribute porn. Trust me, porn is not hard to find in Pakistan whether it be of text or video variety. So, if "character-deforming evils" (my bad translation is growing on me) were the actual issue, we would have actions against the million pulp novel sellers in Old Anarkali and Liberty or the gazillion video/dvd stores storing Blue Movies.
The issue is that you cannot have freedom to access this bad wide world in a military dictatorship. You do as the Saudis do, you ban all.
These States are polishing the silver on the Titanic, as someone said.


Jalal | August 25, 2004

Just came upon your blog. Excellence personified.

Awab | August 26, 2004

outstanding blog - all i can say control anything in a 3rd world state and it creates road block into development. I'm not for supporting porn but let the masses decide what they want not regulate - I was surprised to see the term "blue movies" with a proper defination - I'm probably one word up in my vocab after your blog - down with censorship

Moiz | August 28, 2004

Can you give an alternate method of getting rid of this problem

sepoy | August 28, 2004

Moiz: Depends on what you define is the "problem"? Dating? Pornography? Control over media and information? Fair business practice? In any case, censorship is not the solution.

s¯nee | September 09, 2004

New rules suggest: 1. No closed cabins 2. cabin walls max. 4ft 3. Already implemented in Punjab by pervaiz elahi 4. Safe - Porno free browsing ; any cafe caught excessing 'fahaaush' sites will be closed down. 5. some other rules : but nothing about anti-govt sites. KSA net rules seems to be the best : 'block 'em all'

ahmed | September 25, 2004

it's increasing very fast in pakistan and we have to stop it

MZ | September 11, 2005

Well,the internet cafe sex scandal has come and gone like a nightmare falling on our society.Lets say it was a rude awakening and installing the hidden cameras was in a way a blessing in disguise since had there been no cameras and no taped movies,the sinful acts would have continued even now and dozens of girls more would have lost their innocence and this would have gone on and gone. Thanks to those criminals who planted the hidden cameras,not only has their business come to an end for good but it has sent a wave of awareness all over the country and thats good. Having said that I have previously argued that internet cafes are a good place to spend time and more should be established but by obeying laws like no cabins and no closed doors etc etc. As i said this hurricane has already passed by.I doubt if anyone of you still remember what happened in UK in March 1992.A couple of British-Pakistani girls living in Manchester,UK did a few strip shows in UK raising money.What they used to do was invite a select gathering of mostly Pakistanis in a rented house and did strip shows for them which usually ended in mild lesbian acts. Movies of their shows did a roaring business in Pakistan so much so that newspapers in Pakistan published front-page reports about the Pakistani girls belonging to well-off families in Punjab.Their parents later disowned them and cursed their daughters but the daughters went on doing their acts for a few more months untill it all subsided and no one knows what happened to them. So one hopes the storm has subsided and whenever one goses around that notrious neighbourhodd which played host to the sinful acts it reminds us of the days it happened

MZ | September 11, 2005

I was impressed to see laws put into action by Etisalat in UAE.Not a single porn site can be accessed anywhere in UAE.If someone tries to access a porn site 3 times and fails,Dubai police might come visit you....Hows that?

mona | February 01, 2006

well... wat can i say about this it is wrong what they did but the sad thing is 90% of muslim people are doing this just bcas they been seen in camera they r the bad one, who ever recorded that,i think doing tht such thing was disgusting, it sad bcas from that some gals are killed and sum kill thenselves they did get the chance for forgiveness from Allah, dont forget paopel make mistake wen u realise Allah does forgive, we all make gunah's dosent mein just bcas we dnt do that we r perfect, we other things wrng and we realise we ask forgiveness and change ourself,but it is sad most of them never had the chance i think we shud not think wat they did was wrong what we need to think is they never had chance to realise in life for forgivness from Allah.

mona | February 01, 2006


irfi | February 18, 2006

i dont think so i think Mona is correct bcoz they did get the chance for forgiveness from Allah, dont forget paopel make mistake wen u realise Allah does forgive, we all make mistake/gunha dosent mein just bcas we dnt do that we r perfect

unknown | September 10, 2007

Ironically, the net cafes have become a popular meeting point for couples desperately seeking sexual activity in this conservative Muslim country. A recent scandal in Pakistan involved young couples involved in sexual activity in a cafe in Rawalpindi. The owner secretly captured the couples in the act by a hidden camera, subsequently released the videos on a CD. He was later nabbed by the intelligence services and has never been seen since.

shahid | November 01, 2010

so the pakistani do gooders want to stop their youngsters having fun.anyone over 18 has the right to decide if porography is good or bad. also trying to stop young men and women having a snog in the internet cafe cabins is unfair. only poor working class or middle class people take advantage of such opportunities. pakistani people do not seem to want to stop the rich and affluent from having sexual relations in high class hotels. why do police only raid the cheaper hotels and catch the poorer members of society and torture them for illicit sex. why have the police never raided the high class hotels. are islamic laws and morality laws only applicable to working and middle class people. what a sad society.has anyone wondered why the younger generation is disheartened with the situation they find themselves in. as long as pakistan continues trying to be an islamic state that controls sexual conduct of the population,pakistan will remain on the scrap heap .a backward country that most certainly will remain backward and poor for the forseeable future. unless sexual deprivation of the young is tackled pakistan will not progress. time for sexual liberation!