In a strange move, people who smoke or eat openly during Ramazan will face a 3-month imprisonment and a fine of Rs 500 as the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs in Pakistan on May 11 unanimously approved the Ehtram-e-Ramazan (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Besides the imprisonment for common people, fine for hotel owners who violate the Ehtram-e-Ramazan Ordinance, 1981, has also been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000. Also, TV channels or cinema houses that violate the law will be fined Rs 5,00,000 or more.
According to Pakistan leading daily The Express Tribune, the amendment bill was introduced by Senator Tanveer Khan on January 16 earlier this year and later, it was referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs for further consideration.
In the meeting, Tanveer further suggested the committee take strict action against the people violating the law during Ramadan. Earlier, the committee members put forward the idea of closing down the cinema halls three hours early in the morning and three after Iftaar during the holy month.
Meanwhile, a suggestion from Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Pir Amin Ul Hasnat Shah had that all the cinema houses across Pakistan be remain closed throughout Ramadan.
Ramazan, also known as Ramadan by some, is a holy month during which members of the Islamic community observe a month-long fast. Muslims believe that during this month, the gates of heaven are opened. During Ramazan, Muslims are supposed to practice abstinence from food, water and sex.
According to the reports, the holy month of Ramzan will begin from 26 May evening and end on June 24 this year.