From The Australian:
SIX-YEAR-OLD Aisha loves the orange blouse and jeans given to her by the kind woman who rescued her from the chaos of the Kashmir earthquake. She snuggles up to the woman, trying to forget the devastation of her village home and the deaths of her parents 16 days ago.
What Aisha does not know is that the woman, Kausar, is a prostitute who has bought her from relatives for 50,000 rupees ($1500) and plans to put her to work in the sex trade as soon as she reaches puberty.
Aisha is not alone. According to welfare agencies, many of the hundreds of girls and boys orphaned by the October 8 earthquake are being targeted by gangs intent on turning them into prostitutes or street beggars.
Other children are being sold for adoption by their parents in acts prompted by the destruction of homes and livelihoods.
No official appears to have noticed when Aisha disappeared. After her home in a village called Arja was wrecked, she was taken to her grandmother’s house in the nearby city of Bagh. Kausar, her new “carer”, who claims the little girl is a distant relative, heard about her plight from family members.
“Her grandmother was too old to look after the girl. I went to Bagh on October 12 and I got her very cheap. A pimp from Lahore might have paid 100,000 rupees,” she said.
“I will provide a good education for her. I would not like her to be a cheap, third-class prostitute. I do care about the girl. I will take good care of her, and then reap the benefit. I’m providing for her protection and I don’t care what Allah thinks.”
She will auction the girl’s virginity when she reaches puberty and expects to get up to $4700 for that alone. “She could start work as soon as she has her first period,” Kausar said.
If Aisha refuses to work as a prostitute, she will be sold to a pimp. Kausar would not consider any intervention by journalists.
The article also states that it has gotten so bad that they have put armed gaurds at the hospitals, refusing to let children go to anyone but family– although this woman pretended to be family. Adoptions have been frozen.
If this doesn’t just turn your stomach, I don’t know what would.