Pakistan

Bakhtawar ‘displeased’ over bill forbidding public eating, drinking in Ramazan

KARACHI: Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of late prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has slammed the Ehtaram-e-Ramazan (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which was approved by the Senate Standing Committee for Religious Affairs, prohibiting eating and drinking in public during the fasting month.

Claiming that not everyone has enough strength to fast, she tweeted, “People are going to die from heat stroke and dehydration with this ridiculous law. Not everyone is able. This is not Islam.”

The senate standing committee on Religious Affairs on Wednesday unanimously approved the Ehtaram-e-Ramzan bill which bounds citizens including the restaurant owners to mark religious observance by abstaining from eating and drinking and on its violation one could be fined ranging from Rs500 to Rs25,000 besides three months prison sentence on being sighted smoking, eating or drinking during the sacred month.

After receiving mixed response from users on the social media platform, the daughter of former president Zardari had to elaborate her initial tweet by stating that “we are more than capable of resisting temptation and keeping our fasts.”

Moreover, she maintained that “Not everyone in Pakistan will be fasting ─ Children in school, the elderly, people with medical issues ─ Should we arrest them for drinking water?”

It is pertinent to mention that under the Ehtaram-e-Ramazan Ordinance, 1981, it is illegal for Muslims to eat or drink in public during daylight hours in Ramazan, though the heatstroke crisis prompted some clerics to advise people they should stop fasting if their health is at risk.

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