ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Monday said that liquor companies should not be given a licence to operate in an Islamic country.
The federal minister made the remark while responding to Geo News’s Hamid Mir, who had asked him about the manufacturing licence given to a Chinese company to establish a liquor plant in Pakistan.
The federal minister said the grant of licence was not in his knowledge and it was also not shared with the Federal Cabinet.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan is transforming Pakistan into a state like the Riasat-e-Madina — there’s no space for establishing a liquor factory in a country based on the principles of the State of Madina and no one can support it,” Ali Muhammad Khan said.
“I oppose it strongly and believe that permission should not be granted to establish a liquor factory in an Islamic country,” said Khan.
Senior PML-N leader Rana Sanullah, who also appeared on the show, seemed to differ with the PTI leader.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people living in this country whose religion does not prohibit wine. Here, wine licences are secured in the name of Christians and Muslims consume it themselves.”
“There’s a need to improve our character,” Rana Sana said.
PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, indirectly referring to Ali Muhammad Khan’s statement, said it was not wise to mix religion into matters of the state. He also advised the government to continue to establish a welfare state if it so pleases, but not link it to religion.
Kaira added that alcohol plants are running in many sugar mills in Pakistan, where hundreds of thousands of litres of alcohol is already being produced and exported.
It was reported on Monday that a liquor company from China will be establishing a manufacturing plant in Pakistan.
Chinese company Hui Coastal Brewery and Distillery Limited got a licence to manufacture liquor, sources said, after getting registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on April 30, 2020 with a Hub, Balochistan address.
The Balochistan excise, taxation and anti-narcotics department issued the licence.
The Chinese company has been launched as a joint venture with Balochistan at the Lasbela Industrial Estate Development Authority.
The entire process, from manufacturing to packaging of liquor, will be carried out at the plant in Lasbela.