Lahore Hotel Licensed To Sell Alcohol, Sale To Start Next Month
Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has granted license to a hotel near the Allama Iqbal International Aiport in Lahore to sell alcohol and the sale will begin from April.
According to The News, the license had been issued in January this year to Royal Internation hotel. This is the first time since 1997 that a license to sell alcohol has been granted to a hotel in Lahore. In 1997, Lahore’s Holiday Inn was granted the license.
Excise and Taxation Director General Akram Ashraf said the license was granted to the hotel owned by Peer Baghai Shah on orders of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
Several hotels had applied for issuance of the license in Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s rule but the applications were rejected by the then CM Shehbaz Sharif.
Naya Daur reached out to journalist Nadeem Farooq Paracha to know his views regarding the issuance of the license. He said that if Pakistan was to revive its tourism industry, then it had to come up with a workable policy regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
“We can adopt one from the many policies in this context that are in place in Muslim countries such as Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, the UAE, etc. In fact even Saudi Arabia is now thinking of allowing alcohol in restaurants which they plan to build on special tourist resorts,” he added.
He also recalled that Pakistan once had a pretty moderate and effective policy regarding alcohol before 1977.
Weeks before he was removed as prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto placed restrictions on sale and purchase of alchohol. Since then, only members of non-Muslim minorities are allowed to apply for alcohol permits.
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