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Former PM Gilani Named as Accused in Ephedrine Case

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Posted by on Saturday, October 6, 2012, 10:27
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In a new twist to the ephedrine quota scandal, former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani was named as an accused in a fresh charge sheet submitted by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Media Report.

Former PM Gilani

Former PM Gilani

According to the charge sheet, Gilani himself had approved a quota of 1,000-kilogrammmes of ephedrine for Dr Javed Siddiqi, a former member of the National Assembly.

The charge sheet was submitted against Ali Musa Gilani, son of Gilani, and Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Minister for the Textile Industry. In addition the ANF has also secured arrest warrants for four new accused – Farhan Ahmed, Dr Azam, Anjum Shah and Ahmed Khan Lund – from a special judicial magistrate of the ANF court.

The court has already issued arrest warrants for former health secretary Khushnood Ali Lashari and Tauqir Ali Khan.

According to the charge sheet – a copy of which is available with Daily Express – Zafar Abbas Lak, Inspector General of the Motorway Police and former secretary of the Narcotics Control Board, has also been named as an accused.

In a statement affixed with the charge sheet, Lak confessed that in his former capacity he had transferred ANF officials, including an investigation team, to save Ali Musa’s skin in the ephedrine quota scandal.

For the first time, the ANF investigation team revealed in the charge sheet that a recommendation falsely attributed to Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi was also used in the ephedrine case. When Dr Asad Hafeez, then director general of health, reported to Sethi after allotting a quota of 1,000 kilogramme of ephedrine, she denied authorising or authoring any such recommendation.

Instead, she directed health ministry officials that the quota should not be allotted and that a transparent drug registration process should be followed.

In the charge sheet, ANF Commander Brigadier Fahim and Colonel Tauqeer said under oath that Shahabuddin had admitted on January 2, 2012 that he had approved the ephedrine quota under pressure from a National Assembly member – the confession had led to Shahabuddin’s name being added to the list of accused people.

According to the charge sheet, Ali Musa Gilani had two front-men – Tauqeer Ali Khan and Nisar Ahmed. Both sought favours in different ministries on behalf of Ali Musa. Shahabuddin, on the other hand had only one front-man, namely Anjum Shah.

Tauqeer Ali Khan had allegedly received Rs1million in bribe from Ziyad Khan aka Tabish Khan, a resident of Quetta, and got him permission to buy a bullet-proof vehicle in return.

It is also alleged that Ali Musa had demanded Rs100 million in bribes from a man identified as ‘a Pathan’ in the charge sheet, in return for a coalmine contract. The man, however, agreed to give Rs20 million. The deal broke down when the man refused to pay more.

The new charge sheet includes a statement of Dr Hafeez, in which he alleged that he issued the ephedrine quota under pressure from Ali Musa Gilani, Khushnud Lashari and Tauqeer Ali Khan.

It adds that the Berlex Labs in Multan and Danas Pharma were illegally issued quotas of 6,500 kilogrammes and 2,500 kilogrammes, respectively. Instead of supplying the chemical to Iraq and Afghanistan, they got official permission to sell the drug in the country. They sold the huge quantity of ephedrine acquired to drug traffickers and earned Rs 6billion as a result.

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