Senate body recommends ban on smoking hashish inside Parliament Lodges
ISLAMABAD – The Senate House Committee has recommended prohibiting smoking hashish (a drug made from Cannabis) inside the Parliament Lodges, urging the smokers to go somewhere outside for the said purpose.
The committee which monitors the overall upkeep of the Parliament, met on Thursday under the chair of Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla and took a strong notice of complaint lodged by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Senator Samina Saeed about ‘feeling dizzy’ after passive smoking.
Samina Saeed complained that drivers smoke hashish inside the Parliament Lodges and are sometimes joined by policemen as well.
“My head starts spinning because of the hashish when I pass through that area,” Senator Samina claimed, adding that once when she passed by the lodges, she started feeling dizzy.
The committee subsequently recommended an end to hashish smoking in the lodges.
“Those smoking hashish should be stopped, they can go outside somewhere and smoke it,” Senator Mandviwalla affirmed.
Although Pakistan is an ultra-conservative society, with Islam as the state religion, even then the use of drugs is on the rise.
According to a 2013 report by United Nations Office on Drugs (UNODC), nearly 3.6 percent of the population is addicted to cannabis, making it the most commonly-used drug in the country.
Surprisingly, the possession and use of hashish, also known as cannabis resin or charas, remains illegal in Pakistan, though the Senate body has confirmed that the drug was being smoked inside the premises of country’s legislature.
Besides the use of drugs, the Senate House Committee also discussed the illegal occupation of rooms in the Parliament Lodges and rat infestation.
Concerned officials told the committee that PTI legislator Murad Saeed and his driver were illegally residing in the lodges which are dedicated for the members of Senate.
Upon this, the committee ordered Murad Saeed to vacate his room.
The committee’s chair also censured the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for its inefficiency to resolve the issue of rat infestation.
Meanwhile, one of the committee members quipped that it appears police shall have to be called in to catch rats.
The issue of rats’ presence in droves, inside the parliament, is ongoing from years, however, the debate on it was rekindled earlier this year when it was revealed by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council Chairman Dr Yousuf Zafar that more than 50,000 rats were scampering around the whole complex.