An application submitted to Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has requested the initiation of a criminal investigation against the country's defacto health minister for alleged corruption.
Submitted by Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association General-Secretary Dr Furqan Ibrahim, the application states that Prime Minister Imran Khan had appointed Dr Zafar Mirza as special assistant to the prime minister for health, after the termination of former health minister Amer Kayani, on allegations of corruption and the illegal price hike of medicines, resulting in the embezzlement of billions.
Referring to the episode, the PYPA general-secretary wrote that within 72 hours, the premier ordered a reduction in medicine prices.
Dr Zafar Mirza held a press conference and said prices would be reduced and the looted money would be recovered from pharma companies He further said that the recovered money would be given to the Bait-ul-Maal and embezzlers would be punished.
However, Dr Furqan claims the defacto health minister did not reduce medicine prices and instead continued to increase them and allegedly took bribes of billions of rupees to facilitate large pharmaceutical companies.
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“Dr Zafar Mirza has tried to sabotage the entire healthcare system of Pakistan by repealing the PMDC Act by the PMC Ordinance 2019. Whereby, PMC Ordinance has been declared void by the Islamabad High Court,” the application said.
Dr Furqan further alleged that Mirza smuggled over 20 million face masks and protective gear out of Pakistan and consequently, the country is facing acute shortages, adding that substandard equipment is being supplied to Pakistan.
As a result, doctors across the country have stopped working without face masks and hundreds of patients have died due to lack of medical treatment, he wrote.
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The Federal Investigation Agency is currently investigating the matter, added the application.
Dr Zafar Mirza has started a defamatory campaign against the Chief Justice of Pakistan on social media and the premier took note and ordered the FIA to take legal action against those defaming the apex judiciary.
He said the state health minister continued to appoint corrupt persons and terminate honest officers – including Dr Obaid Ali who highlighted the corrupt practices of Mirza in letters to the premier.
Moreover, Furqan alleged that Mirza has appointed junior doctors as heads of hospitals administered by the federal government – resulting in a near-collapse of the healthcare system.