By Ahmad Jawad
Recently Sheesha became quite a hot topic, though it is more smoky than hot subject. Sania Mirza, Veena Malik, Shoaib Malik & whole nation were talking about Sheesha for the last few days.
Once upon a time, Sheesha was known as Huqqa in our part of world which was smoked by 60-70% population of rural areas including women.
Then came the fancy Sheesha from Middle Eastern culture with different flavours & became a style in our restaurants. Sometimes back, it was banned in restaurants by Supreme Court.
I recall my visit to UK a few years ago in a Sheeshah Cafe located in Leicestershire. This cafe was full in the evening by mostly youngsters. There is no ban on Sheesha Cafe in Europe, America, Singapore, Malaysia or any part of the world. It’s a good business in all these countries despite the fact, these countries have much more stringent rules for health & safety. Why Sheesha is banned in Pakistan while the whole world allows Sheesha at restaurants including Muslim countries. Why do we have this distinction?
For having Khota ( Donkey) Meat to poor quality mineral water to worst standard of milk to every unhygienic, low quality food in Pakistan, why Sheesha is banned in the name of health reasons.
Our most polluted cities like Lahore, Karachi & others are worse than any Sheesha smoking but we have made our nation safe from all health hazards by banning Sheesha.
In the whole world, Sheesha Cafe is an alternate to pubs, discouraging alcohol & promoting Sheesha. Sheesha is also used to discourage smoking. For the whole world, it’s a way of socialising even without alcohol.
Sheesha is an industry, a culture, a way of socialising. If we have to ban, we should ban cigarettes which is a cheaper, more accessible & mobile form of smoking.
To promote tourism, I strongly suggest that Sheesha ban should be lifted.