Administration turns blind eye to ‘Shisha Bars’

KARACHI: Indecipherably the city administration seems giving connivance to the menacing Shisha-business at the largest animal market of Asia on Superhighway, a hotspot for every single body in the city these days, in clear violation of section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Shisha is a charming hookah with flavoured tobacco. A World Health Organisation report has declared smoking Shisha to be two hundred times lethal than a cigarette, which can simply cause disaster to the health of young citizens who mostly get enticed towards its different flavours like chocolate, peach, lemon and double-apple. Smoking Shisha would lead youngsters of the city to be hooked in narcotics and drugs.

Blatantly running Shisha Bar in the animal market established under Malir Cantonment administration, Sadiq, 24, tried to threaten print media persons working in syndicate in late Wednesday night.

“Did I not stop you before to write about the bar? It would turn out to be bad for you,” owner of de Lodge Shisha Bar Sadiq warned the journos who tried to inquire about how they managed to establish the illegal business with extensive advertising in and around the market. In the meanwhile, young men, his workers or partners, started gathering around him.

He told that he had got permission letter of deputy commissioner of the area.

Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui said he did not have any knowledge if any such thing existed there.

“It is a grave crime. We have had crackdown against this activity across the city and it is fearlessly being run at the area that is hotspot these days. The citizens are going there with families to buy animals to fulfil a religious obligation,” he said.

Siddiqui said he would immediately inquire that who had given permission for the illegal activity. This should be noted that the commissioner Karachi has already stated this once before inauguration of the animal market, a couple of weeks back.

Smoking Shisha at restaurants and public places is banned since March 2012, months after endorsement of Sindh Assembly’s resolution in 2011.

ENT surgeon Dr Qaiser Sajjad said smoking Shisha was far more injurious to lungs as compared to conventional cigarette, which has put scores of youth in serious health issues.

“Shisha contains 60 percent tobacco and 40 percent other harmful substances,” he said.

Chief executive officer Malir Cantonment and deputy commissioner Malir did not respond to repeated calls.

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