Sheesha has been banned in Pakistan for quite some time now due to health concerns and the possible negative effects it can have on our youth. This had lead to Police in various parts of the country, to raid Sheesha cafes and even jail some citizens who were found to be carrying sheeshas in their cars. While most cafes stopped serving sheesha all together, some high end restaurants and cafes still offered this exquisite smoking device low key. On the other hand, majority of the people just bought sheeshas and kept it at their homes.
According to a report from Samaa, Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination has suggested legalizing sheesha cafes.
Talha Iqbal, All Pakistan Café and Restaurant Association representative, claims that a 100 rupee tax on each sheesha, would generate millions of taxes in a single year from a single sheesha cafe.
The head of the committee, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq, while talking to a private TV channel, claimed that the reason the government is thinking about legalization is not tax revenues, but the fact that some cafes still continue to serve sheesha regardless of the ban and majority people are smoking sheesha at home which is exposing their family members as well. So its best to legalize it with the plus benefit of taxation.
A lot of people were outraged after the initial ban, arguing that a ban on sheesha, even though harmful to the body and a possible gateway activity to other vices, would quickly lead youngsters to look for alternate activities which can even include drugs as our society doesn’t offer other healthy alternatives that other countries like the USA, UK and UAE do, where sheesha is legal and thriving by the day. On the other hand some were infuriated by the governments influence on the public’s everyday life rather than it doing its job and making peoples lives better by providing jobs, education, protection, health and other opportunities.
What do you think? Should Sheesha be legal? Give your opinions in the comment section below!