Can You Drink Alcohol in Pakistan?

Can you drink Alcohol in Pakistan

Alcohol is one of the most widely consumed psychoactive substances all over the world. Apart from Muslim countries, many countries in the World allow the use of alcohol. Pakistan is an Islamic country, so the question arises whether drinking is allowed in Pakistan, and if it is, then how can you buy alcohol in Pakistan? This article will explain the current status of alcohol in Pakistan and its usage.

Islamic view of alcohol

Consumption of alcohol in Islam is prohibited and considered haram. This fact has been supported by several passages in the Quran and Hadith. The Quran states,

 “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful” (5:90).

 This verse is often cited to support the prohibition of alcohol and other intoxicants. The Hadith, which are the recorded sayings and represent the actions from the daily life of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), also support this fact. One Hadith states,

“Allah has cursed wine, its drinker, its server, its seller, its buyer, its presser, the one for whom it is pressed, the one who conveys it, and the one to whom it is conveyed” (Sunan Ibn Majah 3371).

Drinking alcohol can impair your judgment and decision-making abilities, leading to actions that are not in line with Islamic values and principles. Alcohol consumption has also been linked to various social issues, such as domestic violence, crime, and other negative behaviors.

Islamic scholars have offered a variety of justifications for why alcohol is forbidden in Islam. One frequently cited justification is that alcohol negatively affects both people and society. It can cause health issues, addiction, sluggish judgment, and irresponsible behavior that can be harmful to both the person and others.

It’s vital to remember that in nations with a majority of Muslims, both Muslims and non-Muslims are subject to Islam’s prohibition on alcohol. While non-Muslims may suffer legal repercussions for disobeying the law, Muslims who drink alcohol are believed to be committing a sin.

Is drinking alcohol legal in Pakistan?

Since Pakistan is an Islamic country, abiding by the rules and regulations of Islam, the use of alcohol is also banned and prohibited in Pakistan. At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistani law was liberal regarding alcohol. 

However, due to the increase in the use of alcohol by the population and a violent protest movement orchestrated by an alliance of right-wing religious parties and other anti-Bhutto outfits, the populist government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto banned the sale of alcohol in Pakistan.

Zia’s Military regime

However, after this prohibition, people continued to sell alcohol in bars, clubs, and liquor stores secretly. Thus, on 9th Feb 1979, the military regime of General Zia-Ul-Haq, in his process of “Islamisation of Pakistan,” issued an ordinance called the “Prohibition (Enforcement of Hudd) Order.” 

According to this ordinance, the selling of alcohol to Muslims of Pakistan was considered illegal and severe punishments were announced for the Muslims caught selling or drinking alcohol. In short, it is evident that drinking alcohol in Pakistan is prohibited for Muslims.

Penalties for alcohol addiction 

Even after this amendment, the number of heroin addicts increased exponentially. As a result, the government of Pakistan announced a penalty of 80 lashes for drinking alcohol. This law was passed according to the rules and regulations of Islam. 

With the increasing population of Non-Muslims in Pakistan and their affiliation with alcohol, the government allowed the operations of “Licensed Wine Shops” operated by the Non-Muslim community of Pakistan in a regulated and controlled environment.

 It’s crucial to remember that in Pakistan, the rules and laws governing alcohol drinking can differ depending on the province or location. However, it’s generally advisable to use caution and follow local laws and customs when consuming alcohol while visiting Pakistan.

Can Non-Muslims drink alcohol in Pakistan?

Alcohol drinking is forbidden in Islam, which is the majority religion in Pakistan. Alcohol drinking is prohibited for Muslims since it is viewed as sinful. Nonetheless, it is unclear whether alcohol consumption by non-Muslims is permitted in Pakistan. Pakistan has severe regulations against alcohol consumption and a legal system that is based on Islamic beliefs. 

Only non-Muslims and foreigners in possession of a specific government permit are permitted to sell and consume alcohol. The license is given out by the provincial government’s Excise and Taxes Department and is only good for a short period of time. Alcohol consumption by non-Muslims is permitted in private settings only; it is not permitted in public settings. 

Non-Muslims drinking alcohol is not widely tolerated in Pakistani society and is regarded as taboo. However, the government has made provisions for non-Muslims to buy alcohol, which is available in specific shops. 

It is vital to remember that Pakistan’s alcohol drinking rules are severely enforced, and those found breaking them face harsh penalties. While visiting Pakistan, it’s crucial to respect local traditions and customs and to avoid doing anything that the locals might find unpleasant or objectionable. 

How to drink alcohol in Pakistan

Although the Pakistani government has allowed the drinking and use of alcohol for Non-Muslims, they must get a permit from the government to drink alcohol. Furthermore, they should only buy alcohol from stores with a license to sell alcohol. They should not buy from local sellers as those drinks are homemade and can lead to severe health problems. 

There are many liquor stores in Pakistan with licenses to sell alcohol. Foreigners who are not Muslims are permitted to consume alcohol in establishments with liquor licenses, and they can also apply for alcohol permits (“Politics of Boozing”).

In short, only non-Muslims with a permit can consume alcohol in Pakistan. Respecting regional customs and traditions is crucial, as is adhering to alcohol consumption rules and restrictions.


As a result, Muslims in Pakistan are not permitted to drink alcohol because it is categorically forbidden in Islam. It is advised to follow local customs and traditions while visiting Pakistan, where non-Muslims can consume alcohol with specific authorization. Also, it’s critical to be aware of the rigorous regulations governing alcohol consumption and to abstain from any actions that can be viewed as disrespectful or inappropriate.

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