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ISLAMABAD: The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the anti-narcotics court to conclude the trial against Hanif Abbasi in the ephedrine case by July 21.

Justice Ibadur Rahman Lodhi directed the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court to conduct hearing of the case filed by Shahid Orakzai on a daily basis from July 16 to 21.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered the case against Hanif Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012.

Mr Abbasi is contesting the election from NA-60 (Rawalpindi) on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ticket against Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Mr Orakzai pleaded before the court that the trial in the case had been delayed inordinately.

Last month, Mr Orakzai had filed objections to Mr Abbasi’s candidature, but the returning officer as well as the appellate tribunal headed by Justice Lodhi dismissed them.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Orakzai said that he had received information that the CNS court had adjourned the trial till August 2 since Mr Abbasi wanted to run his election campaign.

“Then I moved the LHC with the request to direct the CNS court not to let Hanif Abbasi run his election campaign because being an accused he should face the trial first,” he said.

Mr Abbasi said that he would file an appeal against the LHC order because the proceedings on a daily basis would deprive him of campaigning with a free mind.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018