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From Junoon to alcohol: Pakistan's famous bans!

1. Alcohol

Alcohol was previously openly bought and consumed in Pakistan until Zulfikar Ali Bhutto banned it in 1977 in a bid to appease the religious opposition. The move failed miserably as Bhutto got displaced anyway yet alcohol remained banned in Pakistan. Though alcohol till this day is consumed in secrecy and smuggled into the country in bulk quantities.

2. Pornography

In 2011, the government placed a ban on pornography and blocked several pornographic sites across the country. This move was welcome by all quarters of the nation yet DVDs and CDs of porn continued their circulation in Pakistan, despite their ban.

3. Gambling

Another blessing by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, gambling was also banned in 1977 in the same bid to quell opposition’s growing public demands for Bhutto’s ouster. Ultimately, the Prime Minister was hanged and the ban proved to be of no avail to Bhutto.

4. YouTube

One of the most controversial bans ever placed in the country. YouTube remains banned till this day after a 2012 blasphemy film targeted at Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was uploaded on the site, frenzied protests and chaotic strikes forced the government to ban the video uploading site altogether. The ban ironically also meant that many pro-Islam videos and Islamic lectures, sermons on Youtube were also not available for viewing.

5. Cellphone connections

With violence and terrorism escalating in the country, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik banned mobile phone connections across the nation on Eid and Ashura, 120 million Pakistanis were not able to use their cellphones. This ban was placed to counter the use of cellphones by terrorists to detonate bombs.

6. Junoon!

The most absurd ban of all in the history of bans, was placed on Sufi rock band Junoon. The reason? The band members sported long hair and apparently the Prime Minister was bald! Junoon was banned for sporting long hair as the musicians had called for holding Sharif and those who came to power with him, accountable for their financial embezzlement.

7. The Satanic Verses

Salman Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses caused quite the uproar globally from the Muslim population and Muslim countries. The book was blasphemous in nature for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and was banned in multiple countries including Pakistan as well.

8. Parties

 According to the regulators of the largest housing authority in Pakistan’s largest city, “Marriages Ceremony,” “Dance Party,” and “Musical Evenings” are not allowed for citizens inside their own homes. However, “Birthday Party” and “Quran Khwani / Dars” (Quran recitals and religious lectures) are.




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