The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) has hereby ordered all the provincial governments to launch a crackdown against sheesha cafes.
The apex court in its order said a number of such cafes were also selling drugs, but provincial administrations had shown their unwillingness to take action against them.
A three-judge bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali was hearing the case against illegal sheesha cafes in the country.
During the hearing, the court asked the Advocate Generals of all four provinces about the implementation of the government’s earlier notification regarding a ban on cigarette smoking in public places.
The court was informed that all district administrations have been directed to strictly implement the no-smoking order in their respective provinces. However, the chief justice said authorities have only managed to put signboards in public places instead of implementing the order.
A report submitted in the SC by the Sindh government indicated that a number of sheesha cafes have not only been sealed throughout the province but the owners have been penalised. The report, however, failed to cite the number of such cafes.
Meanwhile, the Punjab advocate general informed the court that a bill on the subject matter has already been moved in the Punjab Assembly upon which the CJ remarked that the bill was submitted in the assembly last year but no legislation has been passed in this regard as yet.
Later, the court directed all the provincial governments to take strict action on the implementation of anti-smoking laws and asked to submit a comprehensive report in the court after action against sheesha cafes.