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Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine in Karachi
Pakistan’s Attitude Toward Homosexuals: An Epic Ambivalence

in PAKISTAN, 13/09/2013

Pakistan, one of the most homophobic nations on earth, nonetheless has a highly vibrant gay subculture, particularly in the Arabian Sea metropolis of Karachi, despite the official censure of a very conservative society and harsh laws imposed by the state.

According to a report from BBC, one of the city’s holiest sites, the Abdullah Shah-Ghazi shrine, in honor of a revered Sufi saint from the 8th century, actually serves as Karachi’s principal “cruising ground.”

The report notes that homosexuality is rife in a nation where premarital heterosexual sex (even the mixing of young men and women) is gravely frowned upon – as a consequence, young men are forced to seek sexual satisfaction from others of their own gender. (This situation is also quite familiar in other parts of South Asia and the Middle East).

"In Pakistan men are discouraged from having girlfriends and so often, their first sexual experiences will be with male friends or cousins,” a man named Qasim Iqbal told BBC.

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