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Makhdoom Shahabuddin. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Shahabuddin in the ephedrine quota case, DawnNews reported.

President Zardari had nominated Shahabuddin as a candidate for the new prime minister. He had also filed his nomination papers for the slot on Thursday.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) issued warrants against Shahabuddin, Musa Gilani and one other person.

Earlier on June 7, Regional Director of the ANF Brig Fahim Ahmed Khan had told the Supreme Court that the ANF had widened its inquiry against Shahabuddin who he said had ordered the local conversion of ephedrine after Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharma (Pvt) Ltd failed to export asthma drugs to Afghanistan.

The ephedrine scam had come to light in April when the ANF informed a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, that the ephedrine quota worth Rs7 billion was given to two Multan-based companies on the pressure of an influential person.

The case was registered on October 10 last year after two pharmaceutical companies – Danas Pharmaceutical and Berlex Lab International – were held responsible for obtaining export quotas for the drug in collusion with the health ministry officials that exceeded the limits fixed by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).

The INCB had fixed a quota of 22,000kg of ephedrine for Pakistan for 2010-11, but the ministry of health allocated a quota of around 31,000kg after devolution.

Updated Jun 21, 2012 07:51am

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