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ANF prosecutor in ephedrine case resigns

September 08, 2012

RAWALPINDI, Sept 7: In a surprise move, the special prosecutor of the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) resigned after exchange of harsh words with the investigating officer of the ephedrine case.

Barrister Waseem Ahmed Qureshi played a key role in cancellation of the bail of federal textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and MNA Ali Musa Gilani, the son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

He submitted his resignation after ANF deputy director Abid Zulfiqar, the investigation officer in the case, expressed annoyance over his reluctance in defending the authorities of the force, including its director general and force commander.

The counsel for the accused persons leveled allegations against the entire ANF hierarchy during the hearing of the bail applications of the accused persons - former director general health Asad Hafeez, Ansar Farooq, the chief executive of Danas Pharmaceutical, and Ansar Sheikh, the drug controller.

The special judge for control of narcotics substance (CNS), however, rejected the bail of all the three accused persons.

Abdul Rasheed Sheikh, the counsel for Ansar Farooq, told the court that ANF had fabricated the case against all the accused persons because of political reasons.

He alleged that the ANF authorities had minted millions of rupees after joining the force and they should be accountable to the National Accountability Bureau.

Advocate Sheikh entered into hot arguments with the ANF investigating officer outside the CNS court after the latter complained as to why he had resorted to character assassination of the ANF authorities.

Advocate Sheikh and Zulfiqar then exchanged hot words and when Barrister Qureshi tried to mediate, Mr Zulfiqar treated him in the same manner, criticising him for remaining silent when Advocate Sheikh was attacking the characters of the senior officials.

Barrister Qureshi told Dawn that the humiliating behaviour of the ANF official was the reason behind his resignation.

When contacted, ANF director (legal) Akhtar Abbas said it was an unfortunate incident but things were being settled.

“I spoke to the force commander and he told me that the issue has been resolved,” he added.

Later, on the call of advocate Sheikh, an emergency meeting of the district bar was convened.

During the meeting, the participants, including the president of the bar, Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, condemned the behaviour of the ANF official and termed it unacceptable.

The bar also supported an application which was filed by advocate Sheikh with the Civil Lines police for registering a criminal case against the ANF investigation officer for extending threats to the lawyers.