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  • Pakistan debates legalising alcohol


    by Fe'reeha
    12th March, 2007 at 5:28 pm    

    The recent news that Islamic Republic of Pakistan has won the distinction of producing the Muslim world’s first 20-year-old Malt Whisky is interesting for two reasons.

    Firstly, Pakistan is not a traditional Islamic state in practice. Even its theoretical version, or may I say its misconception of Islamic theology, has frequently been challenged.

    Most recently for example the country’s highly controversial hudood laws were questioned again by President Musharraf, who floated the idea of a 50% quota for women in every field provided there was enough talent to utilise it.

    Time and again we realise that Pakistan’s demeanour of being an Islamic state is more of an exhibition rather than a serious principle.

    Secondly, alcohol has always been available in Pakistan even though under the law it cannot be drunk by 97 per cent of the country and it cannot be exported. However, sporadic law enforcement in Pakistan has resulted in alcohol’s easy access to those seeking it. Many consider that banning alcohol in the country has been a hypocritical decision, a debate that has gone on for a long time within the country.

    As the Telegraph reported:

    In 1977 the former prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, bowed to the demands of Islamic political parties and imposed an alcohol ban on Muslims. Since then the brewery has officially been catering for the three per cent of Pakistan’s population that comprises of the non-Muslim communities of Christians, Hindus and those of Mr Bhandara’s Zoroastrian faith.

    However, the ingenuity of thirsty Pakistanis means that rather a lot of the 660,000 gallons of beer that Murree produces every year and the 110,000 gallons of whisky that is stored in its cellars reaches a Muslim clientele. “I think 99 per cent of my customers are Muslim,” said Mr Bhandara, who is an Oxford-educated MP.

    A large number of population in the country, backed up by religious extremists, vehemently oppose the idea of legalising alcohol. Even more moderate, secular Muslims are hesitant to comment in favour.

    Yet, it would be interesting to note how things could change if alcohol were legally available. The biggest benefactor would probably be the government as at present the smuggled goods are aiding the customs department rather than the country. For a poor country like Pakistan this revenue could be important. More broadly it could help tourists warming up to the idea of considering Pakistan as a holiday destination. Despite having some beautiful countryside, mountains and seas, tourism industry is in shambles in Pakistan.

    Another think-tank suggests that by banning alcohol in Pakistan the government has turned youngsters to more harmful drugs like cocaine and ecstasy etc, also easily available in the country.

    I am not making any suggestions either way. However I am against the argument that alcohol is banned in the country because it could corrupt Muslims. I would like to believe that the Islamic faith is stronger than to be toppled by easy access to prohibited things. If this were the case, we would not see millions of Muslims residing in the UAE and European countries where drinking alcohol is the norm.


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    Filed in: Pakistan,South Asia






    96 Comments below   |  

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    1. raz — on 12th March, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

      More good news:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misbah_Iqbal

    2. raz — on 12th March, 2007 at 7:17 pm  

      More good news :)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misbah_Iqbal

    3. Kulvinder — on 12th March, 2007 at 7:54 pm  

      Whats most interesting about the artcle - and what i hadn’t realised was that production and consumption is legal for those who aren’t muslims, a far more pragmatic compromise than those who wish to advocate a uniform islamic totalitarianism would have you believe.

      There are parallels with the debate surrounding the legalisation of drugs in britain. I think in both cases the majority of the population would welcome some sort of leniency or relaxing of the laws.

    4. Junaid Mumtaz — on 12th March, 2007 at 10:26 pm  

      I have lived in Pakistan majority of my life . I can, from my own experince very confidently say that it is easier to get alcohol in Pakistan as compared to some of the other Western countries . An example would be when a fiend of mine was visiting from the US , he was shocked and said ” dude its easier to get a case of beer here coz back home i have to show my ID”. In Pakistan it gets deleivered to your Car, Home , Party, Beach , Farm house , U know name it and its there . I am so ticked of at the fact that everytime a western media outlet tries to portray and make a massive issue about Drinking In Pakistan . Like other western countries lots of People drink and its very normal.However due to Political reasons along with Mullahs pressure its all under the table . If the goverment has the guts to legalise it , Well done, You have all my support i am sure my friends will save lost of money and contribute tax monet to the goverment rather then giving it to shady bootleger . I hope this happens for 2 reasons , cHEAP AND LEGAL ALCOHOL AVAILBEL FREELY and MOST IMPORTANTLY tO STAND UP AGIANST THE MUllahs , They have destroyed our culture and socitey with there dellusional thaught process and always tried to bully the masses of Pakistan with there personal beleives.

      Mushy zindabad , Cant wait to get home and buy a legal bottle of booze .

      Cheers

    5. Ms_XtReMe — on 12th March, 2007 at 10:52 pm  

      The debate shouldn’t be that it’s turning muslims bad, but rather what wrongs it’ll bring to the country as a whole. You pointed out the goods of the legalisation, but not the bads. Motorvehicle (rikshaw)Accidents, domestic abuse, long term health issues.

      I don’t really have a position on this matter, as I believe that people are responsible for their own choices. I do find Junaid’s comment funny about “standing against the mullahs”.. lol, this isn’t the way to do it bled.

    6. sonia — on 12th March, 2007 at 11:05 pm  

      i think the issue is one of actually recognising what’s already happening in the country - kind of like legalising cannabis here. everyone knows everyone’s smoking it, politicians are regularly embarrassed because reports come out that they’ve smoked it (yet refuse to legalize etc.) one of those situations - everyone does it and pretends they aren’t doing it..

    7. lithcol — on 12th March, 2007 at 11:24 pm  

      Come on true wholesome whiskey can only be made in Scotland, and at a pinch in Ireland.

      But whatever, alcoholic drinks are universal, and have been available in all societies since time immemorial.

      Is Pakistan recognizing reality? Probably. Hope they don’t inherit the problems we have in the UK today.

    8. sonia — on 12th March, 2007 at 11:27 pm  

      all those problems are already there, hiding under the carpet, that’s the difference. honestly sometimes I wonder about people’s naivete - they get taken in by all this ‘islamic’ press.

    9. Refresh — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:26 am  

      I think Pakistan can do without the burden of binge drinking, it has enough problems to contend with.

      Developing countries can gain a lot from the UK, and learn to avoid the pitfalls.

      The simple analogy is that for climate change, learn to do things differently.

      Pakistan should consider setting up rehab centres for visiting alcoholics as an alternative to developing an alcohol based tourist industry. Just as there are still some dry states in US, there is no need to follow this particular path to ‘enlightenment’.

    10. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:03 am  

      Judging by the way Pakistanians act, I thought alcohol was already legal. Ha Ha Ha Ha….

    11. sonia — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:43 am  

      ha as if the uncles with florid veins on their noses aren’t already evidence that they’ve been on the johnny walker blue label..

      a drinking fest in the indian sub-continent can make a british one look very tame

    12. sonia — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:44 am  

      but i suppose a lot of you will want to hang on to fond ideas of the old homeland, vs. that of the ‘corrupt west’ so I’ll give it a rest.

    13. sonia — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:46 am  

      heh Bikhair. Well it doesn’t really matter what’s “legal” or not across the subcontinent generally, people do what they like. depending on who you are, you get into trouble or not - as the case may be.

    14. Vikrant — on 13th March, 2007 at 10:46 am  

      c’mon Raz be honest with me… did’nt you start that Misbah Iqbal entry at Wikipedia?

    15. Vikrant — on 13th March, 2007 at 10:49 am  

      Well it doesn’t really matter what’s “legal” or not across the subcontinent generally, people do what they like. depending on who you are, you get into trouble or not - as the case may be.

      Yep… I can affirm to that.. In India legal drinking age is 21 and in case you want to drink anything stronger than beer, you’ll have to wait till 25. Still i’ve attended anough teenage parties to know that those laws arent even worth the paper they are printed upon…

    16. Refresh — on 13th March, 2007 at 11:06 am  

      Sonia

      A rather weak response to suggest that there is a question raised about the corrupt west.

      Its a question of being intelligent and learning to take the best from others experience.

      I would say it would be better to get off that single-track, and look for improvements.

      Alcohol is not an improvement, nor is drugs. If I am wrong then help explain the benefits.

    17. Kismet Hardy — on 13th March, 2007 at 11:36 am  

      “Alcohol is not an improvement, nor is drugs. If I am wrong then help explain the benefits.”

      Benefit of drugs?

      Other than learning to appreciate sunsets, teaching you to enjoy staring at your shoes, hugging random strangers, the best benefit of drugs is music. I’ll let Bill Hicks tell you why:

      “You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. ‘Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years … rrreal fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a few tunes.

      They say rock n’ roll is the devil’s music. Well, let’s say that it is; I’ve got news for you. Let’s say that rock n’ roll is the devil’s music and we know it for a fact to be the absolutely, unequivocally true. Boy, at least he fucking jams! Ha ha ha ha! Okay? Did you hear that correctly? If it’s a choice between eternal hell and good tunes and eternal heaven and new kids on the fucking block … I’m gonna be surfing on the lake of fire, rocking out … high five at Satan every time I pass the motherfucking shore.

      Come on, Bill, they’re the New Kids. They’re so good and so clean-cut and they’re such a good image for the children.” Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fucking rocked! I don’t care if they died in puddles of their own vomit. I want someone who plays from his fucking heart!”

    18. Kismet Hardy — on 13th March, 2007 at 11:38 am  

      Stoners don’t start fights because they can’t get up

    19. Refresh — on 13th March, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

      Forgot you were there, Kismet!

      Actually reading your input - I think you could very well start a fight for the right.

    20. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 12:45 pm  

      I would definitely buy a bottle to see what it tastes like. Indian whisky is a bit rough. Give me my Bells and Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker Black Label any day of the week.

      My cousin owns a warehouse supplying off licences and some of the cheap whisky they sell is nasty, only winos could love that stuff.

    21. Kismet Hardy — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

      My dad used to stock Omar Khayyam champagne until a lawsuit banned them from calling it champagne (well it’s not made in the champagne region you see) and without the champagne tag it just ended up tasting like the piss that it was.

      I played a trick on a poncy couple I once knew. They insisted they wouldn’t drink anything but champagne and nothing short of pricey ones. So after caining the bollinger they bought, I poured out some lanson into the bottle and served it and they couldn’t tell the difference!

      I also put catfood in their vol au vonts but that’s a different story

      We’re no longer friends by the by

    22. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:39 pm  

      Jagdeep - you need to try some proper whiskeys - Bells & Johnny Walker Black label - both are for tourists! plus Black label is never Black label - its the most counterfeited whiskey in the world.

      If this year we have a Xmas raffle on PP for good causes can this new Pakistani whiskey be one of the prizes. Anyone off to Pakistan to learn “Arabic” who would care to bring us back a bottle? Actually bring back two - one to drink and one to keep as a collectors item.

      Justforfun

    23. Sunny — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:49 pm  

      Indian whisky is a bit rough. Give me my Bells and Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker Black Label any day of the week.

      No way man. I had this ‘Sikkim rum’ called Black Cat while I was out in the States. Brilliant stuff.

    24. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

      All champagne tastes like piss - thats what its meant to taste like! I’d rather drink London tap water! I’ve just gone and checked - some bugger has nicked my collectors bottle of Omar Khayyam champagne. Perhaps I must have bought it off your Dad - 15years ago? or there abouts.

      Anyway here is a hangover cure for those who drink red wine.

      Take 2 Wheatabix - lovingly place in the bottom of a bowl. Pour on 4 fingers of the best whiskey you can afford! Let the Wheatabix soak up the whiskey - then pour on 1 finger of full milk. Top off with a splash of full cream. Devour quickly.

      Next I’ll give you my receipe for whiskey/ pepper vanila icecream.

      Justforfun

    25. Sam Ambreen — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:53 pm  

      Really?!? How interesting… Would they make it legal for all and if so, only to be consumed in the presence of four male witnesses?

    26. Sam Ambreen — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

      And can I just say ‘ew’ at the weetabix?

    27. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

      Justforfun

      I’m sorry sir, but I am offended. If there is one thing I will not have anyone impugn it is my whisky sophistication. I slap your cheek with my glove and challenge you to a duel.

      Yes of course, to sip a Laphroaig, Glenmorangie or Cardhu is one of the greatest pleasures known to man. But let’s face it, sometimes you just want to have a glassy and for that Bells and Grouse is perfect. I am Punjabi after all.

    28. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:05 pm  

      Sikkim Rum eh - the best rum I ever had was 24 years ago stuck up the side of a mountain in Kashmir, late at night in a freezing snowstorm and the BSF dropped by. They had bottles of rum that had on the side “Not fit for human Consumption” - they claimed it was for their mules!!. See Health and Safety get everywhere!!

      Justforfun

    29. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:07 pm  

      I’ve recently started having a tumbler of Grouse and ice with my dose of Channel 4 News after getting back from work in the evening. Nice buzz, but more than that, you feel dead civilised, innit.

    30. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

      You go to Southall and some places in the Midlands and you’ll meet some of the old school Uncles who brew their own ‘desi’ moonshine. My mates grandfather in his eighties still drinks his own brew made traditional Punjabi village style. It is lethal.

    31. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

      Jagdeep - I know what you mean. When there is that urge to guzzle a whiskey, why waste a good malt when a Famous grouse is to hand. A bit like women , “supermodels” often don’t satisfy quite in the same way… but I fear I’m straying into Kismet’s territory.

      When in Scotland visiting my outlaws, I always get them to order me an Irish whiskey , like Bushmills or Jamesons, just to emabarrass them and bond with the locals

      Anyway to stay on topic - if Pakistan stops being ‘dry’, will Gujurat follow suit?

      Justforfun

    32. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

      Ah, Jamesons….what a sublime pleasure is that Irish whisky.

    33. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:26 pm  

      Jagdeep - relative of yours ?

      Diageo has been forced to delay a high-profile television advertising campaign for Johnnie Walker whisky, after a scare over potentially lethal counterfeit bottles of the blended whisky, which have been found in London and Birmingham.

      The ads feature Hollywood director Martin Scorsese and were due to break in England… (http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-2278286_ITM) old news -

      As you say literally lethal! -

      Justforfun

    34. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

      Another think-tank suggests that by banning alcohol in Pakistan the government has turned youngsters to more harmful drugs like cocaine and ecstasy etc, also easily available in the country.

      Not according to a recent government report:
      “Alcohol and tobacco are deadlier than ecstasy, report warns”

    35. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:29 pm  

      Sid - wow - admitting to having your whiskey with ice. Tell you the truth, I also prefer it on ice but I usually keep quite about it.

      Justforfun

    36. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:35 pm  

      Justy, I don’t like football either. Am I gay?

    37. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

      As it is lunch - I thought I’d try my whiskey wheatabix -Aargh realised I forgot to mention another vital ingredient, especially if you are planning on serving it to your children - After pouring on the whiskey , sprinkle on some good brown cane sugar. It must be cane sugar , not refined white sugar which is of course bad for you, then add the optioanl milk and compulsory cream.

      Justforfun

    38. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

      It depends on which whisky you are drinking and what mood you are in — ice can be nice.

    39. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:39 pm  

      Yes, but your mum doesn’t know it yet.

      Do you like Curaçao Liqueur and cream of coconut on vanilla icecream?

      Justforfun

    40. sonia — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:48 pm  

      i didnt say alcohol was an improvement -where did you read that? my point is one of about the legalisation issue

    41. sonia — on 13th March, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

      closely linked to the issues surrounding the hooha about 24 hour licensing here.

    42. Kismet Hardy — on 13th March, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

      “Alcohol and tobacco are deadlier than ecstasy, report warns”

      Peeeow, bullet brain. As chambawamba bored us with the fact after leah betts drank her own bodyweight in water: ‘More people die from choking on bayleafs than through taking ecstasy.’

      Although why people take bayleafs at raves I’ve never been sure of

      Oh by the way, I was going to construct a joke around think-tank, but I’ll spare you the tedium and give you the punchline

      Drink-tank

      I nominate Jagdeep as metaphorical driver

    43. A councillor writes — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:24 pm  

      Ah, Jameson’s. A taste I discovered whilst studying in Dublin for a while. However, I also discovered the much harder to find and even more delicious Jameson Crested Ten.

      I’m normally a Islay Malt man, but sometimes a glass of Jameson hits the spot.

      I wouldn’t mind trying this 20 year old Pakistani Malt, I’ll have to ask a friend if they can get any.

    44. Jagdeep — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:27 pm  

      I also discovered the much harder to find and even more delicious Jameson Crested Ten

      *Jagdeep drools*

    45. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:38 pm  

      Jameson Crested Ten:

      Nose: Enormous pot still presence softened by a hint of sherry and a sprinkling of ginger.
      Palate: Perfect balance of sherry, malt and oak with a pot still backbone. Warming spiciness.
      Finish: Hints of cocoa, lingering spice.
      Comment: A shade more sherry-intense than it used to be, so some of the finer notes have been swamped. If anything the sherry is of too fine a character. Even so, tremendous whiskey.

      According to them

    46. Refresh — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

      “i didnt say alcohol was an improvement -where did you read that? my point is one of about the legalisation issue”

      Well I totally missed the point then.

    47. Don — on 13th March, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

      It is mere snobbery to object to ice in a Jameson’s or Grouse, but barbaric to add ice to a good single malt. Splash of water is all you need.

      Years ago when I was working in Kalimantan Selatin the only whiskey available locally was Suntory, which was advertised as ‘Genuine Scottish Whiskey made from genuine Scottish grapes.’

      Johnnie Walker? Pah!

    48. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

      Splash of water is all you need

      What about chilled Indian tonic? I do like that but want to know where I stand with you whiskey nazis.

    49. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

      Sid - You can stand up here at the bar with us - all welcome , EXCEPT bourbon drinkers (as far as I’m concerned)

      You can put a chilled Indian tonic in your whiskey if you wish, but I hope you’re polite enough not to do it on my round ;-) .

      Justforfun

    50. Sid Love — on 13th March, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

      *weeps with gratitude*

    51. Don — on 13th March, 2007 at 5:48 pm  

      Tonic with a single malt? Why would you want to? Would you use a freshly caught Loch Awe salmon for fish fingers? Would you put ketchup on a Kobe steak? (not that I’ve ever had one)

      Anyway, what is the best supermarket blended malt? I find Waitrose is rather good, but stay away from Tesco’s.

      JFF,

      Do you consider Jack Daniel’s a bourbon? I must admit I’m not totally sure. For some reason it’s the default christmas pressy in my circle. Never bought a bottle, but never been disappointed when unwrapping one.

    52. William — on 13th March, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

      Just Glen Fiddich with Glen Fiddich. Permissable to smell it and then taste it by dipping in ones forefinger and licking it before sipping.

    53. Kulvinder — on 13th March, 2007 at 6:25 pm  

      Personally i like Isle of Jura single malt, but lets face it after the fifth sip the palate is gone and i’ll knock back anything.

    54. justforfun — on 13th March, 2007 at 6:41 pm  

      Don - I quite like Jack Daniels - it doesn’t have that raw “freshly sucked grass” taste that bourbons have and funnily enough I had written “except Jack Daniels”, but I edited it out. I think they call it a bourbon.. but like Southern Comfort I think its a drink on its own… what the hell I don’t drink it now - had my fill when as a child I had to buy it duty free on Pan Am flights If given it for Christmas I think I would swap it with my son for his Scalextrics.

      Justforfun

    55. Don — on 13th March, 2007 at 7:04 pm  

      William,

      Glenfiddich? Well, a good enough malt I suppose, but a triumph of marketing over merit.

      God, I really am a snob.

      JFF,

      ‘I think I would swap it with my son for his Scalextrics.’

      I’m calling social services even as I type.

    56. sonia — on 14th March, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

      that you certainly did Refresh - you miss a lot of my points because you’re often so deadly serious! no offense..but ive just got this vision of you scowling into the computer with a grim look on your face…

      *smiles* - laugh with me on this one?

    57. Sarah — on 14th March, 2007 at 2:03 pm  

      All talks of liberalisation aside, let’s not forget Pakistan remains to this date a very narrow-minded and backward society where drinking alcohal is not just frowned upon but can make you a social outcaste.

    58. Sarah — on 14th March, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

      Let’s not even get into how Mullahs will react at this one and for good reason this time as I am sure they will get more than 80 per cent’s support on this issue atleast.

    59. bananabrain — on 14th March, 2007 at 2:58 pm  

      *claps for don @ #51*

      at least there’s someone here who knows correct whisky etiquette.

      i generally keep some johnnie walker black, but it’s far from my best - these tend to be the “classic malts” (dalwhinnie, talisker, bowmore and lagavulin) plus whatever peaty monster i can get someone to pick up for me at duty free. i recommend the single-malt irish whiskey (it’s only an “e” if you’re irish, american or canadian) connemara.

      on the scotch front, i recently had the pleasure of trying a single malt called “blackadder”, of which the purchase of a bottle would constitute an extremely cunning plan - http://www.blackadder.nu.

      i also particularly enjoy ardbeg, laphroaig and, whenever i can, caol ila. a rabbinic friend of mine used to have a bottle of a black whisky called “loch dhu”, which has recently been replaced, i believe, by something called “cu dhub”, of which i have not yet had the pleasure.

      and the sainsbury’s own-label blended isn’t at all bad, incidentally, albeit it’s a bit like making love in a canoe, as has often been said of american beer.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    60. lyallpur — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

      I think banning or lifting a ban on alcohol in Pakistani context is a non-issue. Pakistan is a country where alleviating poverty, providing justice to common man and restoration of peoples’ political rights are more important things to worry/debate.

      Freeha’s article is not balanced; it seems to promote socioeconomic advantages of lifting a ban on alcohol. She should also have mentioned the range of physical, psychological, social and financial problems faced by millions of individuals and families as a result of alcohol abuse in various countries. Research shows that alcohol use is as big a threat to individuals and related societies as smoking; it is only a matter of time before we are made ‘aware’ these findings.

    61. Jagdeep — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

      Who would ever think that whisky could bring together such a rainbow coalition of connosiuers of all races and religions. Truly the Holy Water of Scotland is the symbol of what we can achieve together in peace and civilisation. This is the test of a true and great soul — their love for the good malt. I have never known such sensual harmony and pleasure on any thread here.

    62. Kismet Hardy — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

      My god man you’re still salivating over it! You are truly the drinkmeister jagdeep.

      Although I still maintain I’d drink you under the table any day of the week

    63. Jagdeep — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

      Reading banabrain’s contribution clicked everything into place. Imagine it - a Jew, a Bangladeshi, a few Sikhs and a Hindu, and a Scotsman standing at a bar sipping whisky — apart from a DVD of ‘Interracial Gangbang IV’ can you think of a greater sight of communal harmony?

      Except we needa black dude — Leon, don’t tell me you don’t like whisky, we need a token mixed race guy for full impact.

    64. Bert Preast — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

      Top marks to Kulvinder for mentioning my favourite Isle of Jura. Just over 20 quid a bottle in Spain. And for the sixth sip onwards they sell some fearsome stuff in the local Lidls for 3 quid. Freedom \o/

    65. Fe'reeha — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

      Freeha’s article is not balanced; it seems to promote socioeconomic advantages of lifting a ban on alcohol.

      Strange that you feel this. I have not promoted either way in my article, it is merely a comment on the situation.

    66. Jagdeep — on 14th March, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

      Fe’reeha

      You must be annoyed that your article has spurred not a discussion of the moral implications of ending prohibition in Pakistan, but a scene of male bonding, as mature readers of every faith and race community speak wistfully of their favourite malt and blend, staring at the screen with a sigh as they imagine entering an ancient public house beside a lough in the Highlands with a real wood fire in the corner, as the theme music to Local Hero plays in the background and they partake of a wee dram, savouring the smoky flavour of the peat bog from which the water was extracted to distill it.

      Aye, I apologise wee lassie.

    67. Sid Love — on 14th March, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

      Gotta love Interracial Gangbang IV. Can’t wait for the sequel, Ben Dover and the Whiskey Posse. yeah!

    68. Don — on 14th March, 2007 at 5:15 pm  

      Bananabrain,

      Did you actually get to taste the Loch Dhu? I’ve never had any myself, but I’m told it’s uniquely vile.

    69. Sid Love — on 14th March, 2007 at 5:17 pm  

      Meanwhile, back at Royal Mile, Isle of Jura costs £23 a bottle.

      “A major part of the Mackinlay blend, Isle of Jura is a lightly peated whisky with a gentle Island character.”

      hmmm that gentle Island character. All very tempting.

    70. Bert Preast — on 14th March, 2007 at 5:39 pm  

      The 16 year Jura is the one to have. I never realised they did any others.

    71. William — on 14th March, 2007 at 8:43 pm  

      #61

      But got to be inclusive don’t forget and invite gay people also. Of course as the drink is whiskey they have to be the Scottish gays Ben Doon and Phil Mcraken.

    72. justforfun — on 14th March, 2007 at 9:25 pm  

      Jagdeep - did you try my weetabix receipe this morning?
      By the way who’s the Scotsman? … and there are two Zambians on this thread, although not sure - are we in the Men only section of the bar - if so its only one Zambian at the bar. Sorry Sonia, we’ll have to leave the serious politics to you in the Ladies Bar..

      Sid - try the Curaçao, shredded coconut and icecream - it’s very good. You could even try ordering it at the bar …. I have pissed of barmen by asking for Angostura Bitters in my Coke but never stretched to asking for an iceream and liqueur , but you seem a brave chap. And as you’re into strange combinations may I get you a Snakebite and Black.

      BB - A nice list of whiskeys - I never remember these damn Gaelic names, I just nod and accept the glass. I tend to stick to boring Jamesons, Ballantynes and Macallams if out in pub. However will look up your Irish malt but it sounds rare. I was once told that not all whiskeys are kosher - was i imagining this?

      Fe’reeha - sorry to have also contributed to this diversion. However I like your idea that perhaps legalising alcohol might improve the tourist industry :-)

      I only would add that teaching children how to cope with alcohol is important - I approve of the French idea training their kids on wine from a young age, to know their limits. I suppose this would have to also go for drugs as well, but I have to say I have actually never never ever taken any drugs so I do worry what my kids will be over doing on that front in the future.

      Justforfun

    73. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

      I thought Don was a Scottish?

    74. Don — on 15th March, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

      Borderer, from the English side.

    75. bananabrain — on 15th March, 2007 at 1:50 pm  

      Truly the Holy Water of Scotland is the symbol of what we can achieve together in peace and civilisation.

      that’s why it’s called “the water of life”. i suppose the only downside is that it excludes the observant muslims which i feel is a shame. we could always just make it about barbecue instead, but that would exclude the hindus and buddhists. and if you want to get the girls involved, have the same discussion about chocolate *ducks to avoid clip round the ear* - i’ll start by bigging up maya gold and lindt 70%, as well as sainsbury’s “taste the difference” dark chocolate. milk chocolate i will leave to the sort of people who think bailey’s is a drink as opposed to a dessert condiment.

      don - loch dhu is really very nice. i’m sure it’s not to everyone’s taste, but then whisky preference is very personal.

      and i think we should include the gerald fitz-patrick and patrick fitz-gerald, the two gay irishmen.

      justforfun - angostura bitters in coke, forsooth? have you forgotten the purpose of the “pink gin”, to be sipped on a veranda before dinner whilst repeating the swahili phrase “do you do it doggy-doggy?”

      to my knowledge all whiskys are kosher *as long* as they haven’t been matured in sherry or brandy casks that have been previously used for grape-based drinks. and, of course, you can’t drink whisky on passover, because it’s made from leaven.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    76. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 1:58 pm  

      Sorry Don!

    77. Kismet Hardy — on 15th March, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

      Pink champagne was what stopped me taking speed.

    78. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:04 pm  

      That must have bankrupted you Kismet

    79. Kismet Hardy — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

      Well I did never pay

    80. Kismet Hardy — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

      For my sins, that is

    81. Sid Love — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:10 pm  

      interesting name for an Irish whiskey.

      Will Pakistan be developing a single malt called, er, Paki?

      [ducks]

    82. sonia — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:15 pm  

      heh heh sid

    83. Kismet Hardy — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:38 pm  

      is bang lassi from bangladesh

      because my Russell comics told me bangladesh means land of the hemp people

      Fact.

    84. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

      Yeah I think that’s where it comes from Kismet

    85. Sid Love — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

      No bhang lassi is the cool refreshing cannabis/yoghurt drink. Derived from the work bhang which means cannabis. And lassi which is, erm, lassi.

    86. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 2:58 pm  

      Some people say ‘bhangra’ is derived from bhang. Makes sense to me, if you go to the Punjab countryside ganja plants grow everywhere, and getting high on bhang at celebrations for the end of harvesting season or at celebrations and melas then dancing sounds about right.

    87. Kismet Hardy — on 15th March, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

      Civilisation started in Bangladesh.

      Fact.

    88. A councillor writes — on 15th March, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

      Well, as a gay mixed-nationality person (Irish and British), I’d be happy to come along :-)

      bananabrain has lovely taste in whisky to say the least, but I’ve just remembered two more delights of my cupboard. Glenfiddich Solera Reserve (which I suspect isn’t kosher) but is the only Glenfiddich I’ve ever had that I liked and Highland Park 18 year old.

      When we have our constituency summer barbeque, we deal with the problems by having separate “carnivore”, “halal” and “vegetarian”, we would do kosher, but our only Jewish members do not follow kashrut.

      Oh and Bailey’s is an addition to poor quality coffee.

      Oh and 70% Lindt is for wussies, I like the 85%, but I find the 99% a bit much.

    89. Jagdeep — on 15th March, 2007 at 4:27 pm  

      Bailey’s is Mrs Jagdeep’s favourit drink, and it is actually very pleasent with crushed ice after a hearty meal. There’s another drink called Amarula, which is from South Africa I believe, that is like Baileys and also quite pleasent.

    90. bananabrain — on 15th March, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

      someone gay thinks i have good taste? perhaps there is hope for we benighted fundamentalists yet. hur hur hur.

      actually, i myself am less than observant of the halakhic rules on wine and grape-based products, partly because there is a principle at stake: part of the reason that non-supervised wine is prohibited is the theoretical risk that it has been used in an idolatrous ceremony and my definition of idolatry is extremely, extremely strict, on principle. wine that isn’t vegetarian, though (like anything that uses an animal product like sturgeon blood as a fining agent) i really shouldn’t drink. then again, i still eat (vegetarian only, though) in non-kosher establishments, partly because i can’t bear to put up with only-kosher restaurants for the rest of my life and partly because it would prevent me eating out with or at the homes of the vast majority of my friends and family. my spirituality is not kashrut-led. however, i’m 1000% strict over passover, when there is extra reason to be.

      85% lindt i find doesn’t actually taste like chocolate at all. at 99%, you might as well eat cocoa powder out of the jar.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    91. justforfun — on 15th March, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

      Jagdeep - for a moment I thought you had lured Anas to the dark side for our clan gathering.

      BB - do you mean its OK as long as the cask is 2nd hand and had only been used previously for sherry (or brandy), and not a 3rd hand cask where before the sherry (or brandy) it had been used for grape drinks other than sherry or brandy. I was led to believe all all malts use ex-sherry casks, as the juices in a fresh virgin cask would overpower the subtle tastes in of a whiskey. As well as the economics of the sherry trade - lots of spare casks in England from all that sherry imported and a ready market up north for the Gaels to put their whiskey in.

      BB - have you ever sat in a planter’s chair? not the doggy doggy but missionary position - but maybe thats the basis of the joke?

      Having never smoked ganja , I ask - can you actually dance after smoking it? None of my friends can - are they whimps or have the the wrong stuff?

      Justforfun

    92. bananabrain — on 15th March, 2007 at 5:07 pm  

      jff - no, i was just referencing pink gin’s “colonial past”. nothing more subtle than that. as far as the kashrut of whisky is concerned, i can do no better than point you to the following link:

      http://www.jeremyrosen.com/halacha/scotch.html

      which is a detailed treatment of the issues involved by my own eminently sensible rabbi. feel free to ask any further question raised by his article and i will endeavour to give satisfaction.

      b’shalom

      bananabrain

    93. justforfun — on 15th March, 2007 at 5:38 pm  

      BB - Thanks for the link. Damn - now I have no excuse not to buy the expensive malts as presents.

      Justforfun

    94. Fawad Khattak — on 17th March, 2007 at 9:28 pm  

      First, the premise that PAKISATN IS NOT A TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC STATE, is debatable because hardly any one can REALLY DEFINE A TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC STATE;definations vary from TALIBAN’S AFGHANISTAN to SAUDI ARABIA AND THE PERSIAN GULF MONARCHIES to SUDAN and IRAN’S style THEOCRACIES. Through out the Muslim world ISLAMIC IDEOLOGY has its distinct SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT peculiar to the various countries.
      In her own SOCIO-CULTURAL(ERRONOUSLY CALLED HER MISCONCEPTION OF ISLAMIC THEOLOGY!) context PAKISTAN IS 100% a TRADITIONAL ISLAMIC STATE—-MUSHARRAF’S DEMEANOUR OF LIBERAL REFORMS ACTUALLY IS THE REAL EXHIBITION!IT HARDLY SEEMS TO BE SINCERE OR INFLUENTIAL.
      IN PAKISTAN’S SOCIO_CULTURAL MILIEU consumption of alcohol in the elite circles has ALWAYS been a norm! EVEN AMONG THE COLLEGE STUDENTS!!!But then 42% of Pakistan’s masses live below the poverty line and majority of Pakistan’s religious are dirty poor!Another 25 to 30% of the SO-CALLED LOWER MIDLLE classes too can’t afford the expensive bootlegged wines! Unfortunately Pakistan DOESN’t have a REAL MIDDLE CLASS larger than 3%!;ANOTHER REASON FOR RISING TIDE OF EXTREMISM AND INTOLERANCE.And I KNOW FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE that the Muree breweries and others of the ilk don’t produce quality wines—TRY AN IMPORTED AS WELL AS A LOCALLY BREWED glass of wine AND YOU WOULD KNOW THE DIFFERENCE!
      Pakistan’s is an explosive capitalist economy where ALL THE REFORMS are tailored to benefit only the upper minority of the rich and winning the international goodwill through much hyped NON-REFORMS that don’t really challange te intolerant,exploitative socio-economic culture. Raising prohibitions that won’t REALL affect MUCH of Pakistan’s population should be seen in THAT context alone!

    95. HERMITPADAMJIT SINGH — on 17th March, 2007 at 10:14 pm  

      I strongly feel that any debate on legalising alcohol in Pakistan should be quelled. Ban on alcohol in the country for religious or secular reasons is quite legitimate. Clandestine consumption of alcohol might be the order of day but legalising it would do more harm to the fabric or body politic of societyor Nation. Keeping it under wraps would curb the menace of drinking to a far greater extent than legalising it.
      Legalising alcohol in the country would be an invitation to disaster. It would lead to the majority of population getting hooked to the bottle as we see it happening in the west. Muslims living in other parts of the world might be drinking alcohol. They are answerable to their Livers and their God but do not let your beautiful Pakistan to plunge into a Nation of Lotus eaters nay drunkards.

      PADAMJIT SINGH

    96. Aejaz Zahid — on 30th March, 2007 at 2:17 am  

      I think all drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) should be legalised and highly taxed. The money gained from these taxes should then be used to institute education programs and media campaigns that widely, clearly and unambiguosly warn about the dangers associated with each of these drugs. It is then up to the individual to decide their own fate. I do believe that we will see fewer problems with drugs and alcohol if there were an open and honest debate about these issues, rather than hiding these issues under the carpet and fueling the culture of hipocrisy we have in our society. Regarding what the mullahs have to say about this, as far I understand Islam, at the end of the day the ultimate responsibility for ones actions lies firmly with the individual.

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