Thursday, March 29, 2012
Drug Quota Allotment Scam Worth Rs 7 Bn Allegedly Involving PM's Son
A “drug quota allotment” scam worth Rs7 billion, allegedly involving prime minister’s son, has come to fore, a private News channel reported on Thursday.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, heard the case against Ministry of Health's illegally allotting a quota of a bronchodilator drug “ephedrine” worth Rs7 billion to two Multan-based companies.
The case was filed by Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to bring the culprits to the task.
The petitioner's lawyer, Abid Zulfiqar, pled before the honorable court that his client wanted to withdraw the case urging the bench to dispose it of as soon as possible.
This sudden change of stance raised the eyebrows of the Chief Justice, who couldn’t help asking the ANF’s counselor as to what was stopping the Anti-Narcotics Force from pursuing the case. To which he revealed that ANF was under extreme pressure regarding its investigation into the health ministry's violations of rules, while awarding a quota of 9,000-kilogram ephedrine drastically exceeding the legal limit of 500 kilograms.
He disclosed that one "Tauqeer Ali Shah" who claimed himself to be the secretary of PM Gilani’s son Ali Musa Gilani had been pressurizing the ANF to sweep the case under the carpet. In the line of duty, the ANF also tried to summon Ali Musa Gilani on March 12, but to no avail, he said.
In addition to that, ANF commander, Brig Fahim Chaudhry told the court that it was Secretary Anti-Narcotics Department, Zafar Abbas, who put a full stop to our investigation by writing to us that an important political personality was not happy with the probe.
Upon hearing all the details the court asked the ANF chief if he was afraid of the "VVIP" who was none other than Ali Musa Gilani and wanted to backtrack on this sensitive issue.
Brig Chaudhry, drawing strength from Chief Justice’s encouragement, told the court that his department would push the case ahead till its logical conclusion.
Supreme Court, later, summoning all the parties, adjourned the hearing till April 20.
It is worth mentioning that Ephedrine is a stimulant and a thermogenic and comes from the herb known as Ephedra. It is commonly used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, and to treat hypotension associated with anesthesia.
Ephedrine stimulates the brain, increases the heart rate, increases blood pressure, expands bronchial tubes, increases metabolism, and increases body heat. Because of the effects of ephedrine, it is a commonly abused drug. Oftentimes, people do not realize the harmful effects of ephedrine and continue to use and abuse it; eventually they will develop an addiction. Ephedrine is one of the most popular stimulants that is abused and leads to an addiction very quickly.