ISLAMABAD, July 4: A senior official of the government’s drug regulatory body requested the Supreme Court on Wednesday to save him from victimisation and said he might be made a petitioner in the ephedrine case.
Deputy Director General of the Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan Muhammad Tanvir told a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that he had been made officer on special duty (OSD) and transferred to Gilgit-Baltistan despite the fact that there was no office, staff, budget or any other equipment to perform duty in the region.
The applicant claimed that he had been subjected to victimisation because of the statement he had recorded before the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) investigating the ephedrine scandal and for his constant opposition to the grant of unlawful and illegal drugs quotas of ephedrine on fake demand for manufacturing tablets.
The Supreme Court is seized with a petition moved by the ANF against the import of the proscribed chemical – a scandal that also involves former prime minister’s son Ali Musa Gilani.
The court issued notices to Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar and FIA Director General Fayyaz Leghari and adjourned the hearing for a date to be decided later.
Muhammad Tanvir alleged that he had been transferred on the orders of the highest authorities, including Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, under political influence with mala fide intention to force him to change his statement.
He said Qazi Abdus Saboor, Director General of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CAAD), had been posted as Director General (Health) on the intervention of Khushnood Lashari and given the charge of Chief Executive Officer of the Drug Regulatory Agency on May 28. Mr Tanvir said the total demand for ephedrine in Iraq as per rules of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) was 3,000kg, but an export quota of 6,000kg had been approved for Can Pharma Multan and Berlex Lab International Multan on fake documents. Likewise, he said, the annual demand for ephedrine in Afghanistan was 50kg, but a quota of 2,500kg had been allocated to Danas Pharma (Pvt) Ltd on similar documents.
Mr Tanvir said that another quota of 1,000kg had been approved for Cherwell Pharma Hattar, but he took measures to cancel it.
In Pakistan, he said, the annual demand for ephedrine was not more than 100kg, but Berlex Lab and Danas Pharma had been granted 9,000kg by converting the quota from export to local manufacturing in 2010.
A similar quantity was approved for 2011, but it was never issued because the two companies failed to establish bona fide use of the quotas as per applicable conditions.