Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, the elder daughter of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has severely criticised the Ehtram-e-Ramazan (Amendment) Bill which prohibits eating and drinking in public during the month of Ramzan.

In a tweet, the daughter of former President Asif Ali Zardari said: “People are going to die from heat stroke and dehydration with this ridiculous law. Not everyone is able. This is not Islam.”

Under the Ehtram-e-Ramazan Ordinance, 1981, it is illegal for Muslims to eat or drink in public during daylight hours in Ramzan, though the heatstroke crisis prompted some clerics to advise people they should stop fasting if their health is at risk.

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Senate Standing committee on Religious Affairs amended that 1981 ordinance to attach a fine of (Pakistani) Rs 500 to the jail term for smoking and/or eating in public during the holy period, Dawn reported on Saturday.

The Senate also increased the fine for hotel owners who flout this rule from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000.

The amendment said that TV channels or theatres houses that violate the law will also be fined Rs 500,000 or more.

After receiving mixed reviews from users on the social media platform, Bakhtawar elaborated her initial tweet on the bill by saying that “we are more than capable of resisting temptation and keeping our fasts.”

Bakhtawar said that the law was “outrageous” as it failed to consider that not everyone will be fasting in the month of Ramzan.

“Not everyone in Pakistan will be fasting – Children in school, the elderly, people with medical issues – Should we arrest them for drinking water?” Bakhtawar said in her tweet.

First Published | 13 May 2017 11:29 PM
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