ISLAMABAD: The Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), in the ephedrine case, has told the Supreme Court that this is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a “mega narcotics offence” has taken place only because of the alleged involvement and patronage of state machinery, including the son of the then prime minister, his principal secretary, the health minister, the secretary health and others.
In its report, submitted before the Supreme Court by Brigadier Fahim Ahmad Khan through the ANF’s counsel, the force contended that the intervention of apex court had strengthened the investigation team and other officials linked with the investigations.
“Otherwise, brutal misuse of authority/powers by high-ups in government machinery (as they have shown during Mar-May 2012) would have ruined the investigations and could have achieved their heinous designs/aims,” the ANF said, adding, “This is for the first time, probably in the history of Pakistan that this ‘mega narcotics offence’ could take place only because of the connivance/abetment /patronage of the state machinery i.e. drug controller, director general, secretary and minister of health and Ali Musa Gilani.”
“On their directions, laws/rules were violated to execute their unlawful orders/meet their desires by the state machinery operators. It is, therefore, convincingly felt that due to the repeated all-out attempts/manoeuvres by the high profile accused persons and the state machinery to sabotage the investigations/prosecution, the ‘ante status quo’ may continue to be maintained till finalisation of the case,” the ANF sought from the SC.
The ANF investigations against Ali Musa Gilani (MNA), Makhdoom Shahabuddin (ex-Minister of Health), Mian Abdul Sattar (MNA), Khushnood Akhtar Lashari (ex-Secretary Health and presently Principal Secretary to the PM), Zafar Abbas Lak (ex-Secretary Narcotics Control Division) and Dr Asad Hafeez (ex-DG Health) are in progress and necessary challans against the concerned individuals found involved in the case would be submitted in the trial court.
It added that on 25-05-2012, Zafar Abbas Lak, who had tried to sabotage the investigations and created hindrances, appeared before the investigating team and made his statement. Zafar Abbas Lak admitted receing a telephone call from Ali Musa Gilani to favour the person as sent/directed to meet him. He (Ali Musa Gilani) also made a complaint to Zafar Abbas Lak of the presence of ANF personnel outside his house.
The ANF added that accused Abdul Sattar Sohrani has stated that the allocation/conversion of ephedrine quota for DANAS was got done by accused Anjum Shah through Makhdoom Shahabuddin while for Berlex Lab, the same was arranged by Tauqir Ali Khan through Ali Musa Gilani and Khushnood Akhtar Lashari.
It was also revealed that the ephedrine allocated illegally above the quota was smuggled to Iran through Quetta. “Accused Ansar Farooq and Iftikhar Ahmed Babar brought on record, besides others, the role of accused Rizwan Ahmed Khan, Tauqir Ali Khan and Tahirul Wadood Lahoti and the fact of smuggling ephedrine to Iran through Quetta.”
About the details regarding if any of the drug barons had visited the PM’s House during Gilani’s tenure, the ANF report said, “The chief security officer PM House/Secretariat who was twice earlier asked to produce the visitors record of PM House/Secretariat, appeared before the IO (investigation officer) on 24-05-2012 but he was not in possession of relevant register/documentary record. On 31-05-2012, SP security, PM House, informed the IO that the relevant record would be provided on receipt of necessary advice from the Ministry of Law.”
Khushnood Akhtar Lashari has also attended the investigations on 17th May and 23rd May 2012 but has yet to come for cross questions/clarifications.The ANF report also reflected on how the FIA has been pressuring the ANF witnesses to the advantage of powerful accused. The report said: “Mr Tanveer Ahmed (Deputy Drug Controller) has complained in his statement about the threats/pressure on him by state machinery to make a statement of their choice. He was compelled by the MOI/FIA staff to sign a pre-written statement before Mr Kamran Cheema, Magistrate at Islamabad, for which the arrangements were already made. Besides Mr Tanveer, Mr Rauf Khalid (ex-Drug Controller) has also made a similar statement under pressure of Mr Khushnood Akhtar Lashari (ex-Secretary Health, now PS to PM/Secretary Establishment Division).”