ISLAMABAD:As much as half a dozen sheesha cafes are still open in Islamabad. Daily Times has learnt through that the business of illegal sheesha cafes is continuing under the very gaze of the authorities. These cafes are open to the influential persons of city, the youngsters, school and college going under-age students. These hidden, secretive cafes offer drinks, edibles along with sheesha. Furthermore, they have the rights of entry reserved for their select clientele and their companions. Many of these are located at upscale, posh and elite vicinities of Islamabad and its suburbs. In mainland Islamabad, three of them are in various phases of Bahria Town, the Civic Centre and nearby places. Others are in Aabpara Market, Sector of G-11 Markaz near the Police station Ramna, in F-10 Markaz and in Sector E-11/3. The shadowy nature of these outlets can be ascertained by the fact that these cafes have nameplates or signboards outside them. It was learned that their regular customers know their location and are ordered entrance as they are known them beforehand. Furthermore, these sheesha cafes are above the law of the land and both their owners and customers deem them as hangout places after a hectic day’s work. A source said that many renowned and connected people visit these outlets. When asked why doesn’t the administration and the police take action against them, he said: “These premises are to a great extent out of bounds for the local police and that is one of the reasons that sheesha cafes do a roaring business because of the patronage they have”. It has been noted that the fad of electronic cigarette smoking has replaced the smoking of conventional tobacco based cigarettes and products. These electronic sheeshas and electronic cigarettes have now become a common sight in Islamabad since the last couple of years. It is pertinent to mention here that the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan last year ordered the closing of all sheesha cafes and warned the vendors, sellers, distributors and shopkeepers not to sell these products to individuals even though many of them have opted for the stylish electronic sheesha and electronic cigarettes. At present there are countless brands of e-cigarettes. A major one is E-lite, a major importer and seller of e-cigarettes and related accessories with its outlets in many major urban centres which is selling the cancer spreading stuff despite the ban on all and sundry giving no heed to the ban imposed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan a year ago. E-lite has two branchs, one at the renowed Centaurus Mall and the other in F-11 markaz. Many of the smokers were made to believe that the electronic cigarettes were healthy and safe alternatives to conventional cigarettes. But recent medical research has tarnished all such claims. Nowadays it is a common sight that people smoke it in public places with children and asthmatic patients around them. A recent research pertaining to harmful effects has established that electronic cigarettes and electronic sheeshas are injurious for the one who smokes them and also endangers the health of those around him – the non smokers. Saad Naeem, a resident of Islamabad said that being a student of economics at Comsats, it has come to his knowledge that more than 70 per cent students of his university and many others in the federal capital were addict of sheeshas and electronic cigarettes, which, he cited, was alarming and worsening the health situation in the federal capital. While talking to Daily Times on condition of anonymity, a salesmen of E-lite claimed that they were paying tax to the government as they had the licence for importing and selling these electronic sheeshas and cigarettes. Daily Times tried to contact Sajid Kayani, SSP Operations, Islamabad Police. However, despite repeated trying he was not available for his comments on the issue.