Minister for Textile Industries Makhdoom Shahabuddin, accused of allocating huge export quota of ephedrine, appeared before Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) investigators on Tuesday and said he was actually a complainant in the case.
He was questioned for over an hour and a half by ANF officials.
Shahabuddin, who was the health minister when the scandal hit headlines, along with his lawyers appeared before the investigation team at ANF Regional Directorate on Tuesday evening after the Lahore High Court had extended his pre-arrest bail till July 9 earlier in the day.
In a written statement, Shahabuddin categorically denied the allegations of pressuring the health officials for issuing export quota or directly allocating any quota for ephedrine, which is a controlled substance.
It was the duty of the secretary health and directorate general of ministry of health to decide such matters, he informed the investigators.
He maintained that he was actually the complainant and initiator of the case as health minister and had ordered a probe in this regards.
Two more accused arrested
In a related development ANF arrested two other accused persons in the ephedrine case – Hashim Khan, chief executive of Cane Pharmaceutical, Multan and Ahsanuddin, an employee of Danas Pharma, Islamabad. The investigators produced them before Magistrate Shafqatullah Khan and obtained four-day physical custody of the accused men.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.