The name of former health minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin has surfaced as a principal accused in the ephedrine scandal, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) investigation documents available with The Express Tribune revealed.
Evidence has been recorded against Shahabuddin on the basis of a statement by former director general health Dr Rasheed Juma.In his statement Juma had also accused Ali Musa Gilani and Anjum Shah of exercising influence to convert the ephedrine export quota into local consumption.
Even though five months have passed since Juma recorded his statement and proceedings have been initiated against Ali Musa and Shah, the ANF has failed to issue a single notice to the former health minister.
According to Juma’s statement, Drug Controller Sheikh Ansaar had granted the approval of an export quota to Danas Pharma. Health Secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari also gave approval ex post facto. On the recommendations of the drug controller, Juma then granted approval to Danas and another pharmaceutical company, Berlex.
Despite repeated attempts to contact several ANF officials, none responded. Shahabuddin also did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.
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