ISLAMABAD: Hashish smokers should be stopped from lighting up within Parliament Lodges’ premises and be asked to smoke “somewhere outside”, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla held on Thursday when a colleague of his complained of ‘feeling dizzy’ after inhaling second-hand smoke in the lodges.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Senator Samina Saeed complained that “drivers smoke hashish inside the Parliament Lodges and are sometimes joined by policemen for a drag” during a session of the Senate House Committee — which overlooks the overall upkeep of the parliament.
“My head starts spinning because of the hashish smoke when I pass through that area,” Senator Samina said, adding that once when she passed by the lodges, she started “feeling dizzy” by the time she reached her room.
The committee, chaired by the deputy speaker, 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 said.
Illegal occupation of rooms in the Parliament Lodges and the prevalence of rats also came under discussion in the committee.
Officials told the committee that PTI MNA Murad Saeed and his driver are illegally residing in the lodges which are intended for the use of senators, after which the committee ordered Saeed to vacate his room.
The committee’s chair also admonished the Capital Development Authority (CDA) over its failure to resolve the issue of rat infestation and to keep the toilets in the parliament clean.
“It appears that the police shall have to be called in to catch rats,” a member remarked.
Nearly 3.6 per cent of Pakistan’s population uses cannabis, according to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report in 2013, making it the most commonly-used drug in the country.