Heated debate in PA on liquor

Faizan Bangash
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly on Wednesday witnessed heated debate over the issue of sale and purchase of liquor after a Minority MPA demanded cancellation of the liquor permits to Christians.

Christian MPA Khalil Tahir Sindhu during the question hour session in PA also demanded liquor test of all the MPAs of the House to find truth as to who consumes liquor and demanded flogging for those who consume liquor.

He also protested strongly for defaming Christian community in the sale, purchase and consumption of liquor. Speaking on the floor of the House, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, who was Provincial Minister for Human Rights in PMLN tenure, stated that issuance of liquor permits was in fact a reflection of the dishonesty of the bureaucracy. He made it clear that liquor was prohibited in the Holy Quran as well as in the Holy Bible.

He added that according to the Bible, those who commit adultery and drink liquor will not be sent to the paradise. Sindhu went on to say that their salaries were deducted in the name of liquor tax and asked 'does it mean we are committing a prohibited act'. He demanded the removal of stigma from Christians in form of the liquor permit and demanded flogging for the person who consumes liquor.

While responding to it, Punjab Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat said that the term non-Muslims is not only related to Christians but other minorities and stated that for the foreign visitors, liquor permits are issued.

He also told Khalil Tahir Sindhu that his own party, PMLN was adding 'Haraam' in the tax collection of centre because it was in power then. When Basharat blamed the Federal Government for adding Haraam (prohibited) money while charging liquor tax, PMLN Minority MPAs Khalil Tahir Sindhu and Tariq Gill gathered around the Speaker's dice and demanded medical tests of the MPAs across the divide to find as to who consume liquor and who does not. Basharat on the occasion asked Khalil Tahir Sindhu to come up with a Bill in this regard on Private Members Day.

Meanwhile, the PA passed a bill that was referred back to PA a few days ago. Later, Speaker PA Sibtain Khan adjourned the session after the completion of agenda.