She refused to drink. “Why have you come here, then? Let’s go to the dance floor,” said her friend and dragged her to the dance floor. It was the first time Sanobar (*) had come to a Saturday night party. She became the centre of attention very soon as she was very good at dancing thanks to the dance classes she took at school. She liked this attention. Feeling tired after sometime, she took a drink from a waiter to keep up her dance. As soon as she finished the drink, she felt as if she had been filled with new energy. She had come to this party to celebrate her semester results on the insistence of a friend. She got down from the dance floor when her friend Maheen (*) called. She went to a sofa at a corner where young girls and boys were enjoying the sheesha (a modern type of hookah). She joined them. Many a couple were getting down from the dance floor and going into rooms. Sometime later, something covered with paper was brought on a plate. Cajoled by Maheen, she smoked it like a cigarette and then she almost lost her consciousness.
Sunny (*), an organizer of such parties in posh areas, told The News Tribe that many girls and boys like Sanobar are introduced to such parties every week. “These guys come here to follow the trend or just to accompany friends or to make new friends. The environment here then entraps them. They become addicted to such parties.”
Since Sanobar belongs to a well off families and gets a huge amount as pocket money, she has had no problem in paying for the drugs supplied here. But others, who exhaust their pocket money sooner, have to do a lot of things to meet their expenses.
These guys ‘sell information’ to criminals involved in thefts and dacoities and kidnappings to meet their expenses, said Faraz (*) who regularly attends such parties. “They even supply information about their own friends who attend these parties.”
Organizers said the number of participants has been increasing over the years because the imported drugs supplied here have contents that increase urge for sex.
Another organizer of these parties said on the condition of anonymity that charas has gained popularity in these parties because whisky, cocaine and XTC are expensive. “It is popular also because it can be used in various ways such as smoking through cigarettes and hookahs.”
Some organizers announce these parties through codes at social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Organizers said that the sellers of these drugs are well connected with political parties.s Police are well paid to keep away from such parties.
Call girls are trained to get boys to such parties. School and college guys are also used to attract more and more youngsters to these parties.
Around 70 percent of the participants of these parties belong to families that are well educated.
An organizer said that there is another type of parties called ‘mobile parties’, which involved foreign dancers. He said the Russian woman recently arrested from near the Adbullah Shah Ghazi shrine was also part of a ring organizing ‘mobile parties’.
At each of these parties, drugs worth Rs 1 million are sold. And hundreds of these parties are organized in Karachi and Lahore at every week. Private colleges and universities are the main targets of these groups.
These groups are active at at least four private universities in Karachi and three in Lahore.
Call girls belonging to middle class work full time for these groups. Most of the students that work for these groups to get them new customers do so for money. But around 15 percent become part of these groups only to enjoy sex. These are mostly the ones that belong to rich families.
Shazma (*), who now regularly attends such parties, said that she came at a party just for entertainment but she became addicted to these parties very soon. She works for a private television channel and was introduced to cocaine through a kiss by a boyfriend.
If somebody brings a friend here, they do it on their own risk. Organizers do not allow strangers in order to keep police and other law enforcement agencies away.
These organizers employ ‘bouncers’—well trained fighters—to tackle those who make trouble.
Another participant said, requesting anonymity, that many of the participants of these parties have now formed associations of gays and lesbians. “These groups are fast gaining popularity owing to some celebrities being part of them.”
Atika Sultan, who teaches at a convent school in Islamabad, said the responsibility for this increasing use of drugs among students lies on parents. “The use of drugs at parties organized at home makes children think it a part of normal life.”
Since most of the parents don’t give enough time to their children, they spend much time at internet and watching television which constantly induce them to use drugs, she said. Many students start using drugs, following their friends, she added.
An educationist working for a foreign NGO said this rising use of drugs is resulting in lack of ethics among youngsters of the rich class, increasing aggression and proclivity towards crime. “These things are disastrous for our future.”
* Names have been changed.