Not just the ANF team probing the Rs7-billion ephedrine scam, key witnesses and the officers of the health ministry who had warned about the possible misuse of the controlled chemical, are also being victimised and they have said so in written words to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
One such officer, who is being harassed and victimised by the top baboos to save the skin of not only Ali Musa Gilani but also of Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, opened his heart out before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, saying he had been transferred to Gilgit where neither any post exists nor there is any office, staff, budget or any other tool for performance of his duties. He says this was done just because he had told the ANF people about his victimisation by baboos sitting on the top posts in the interior ministry.
Deputy director general health, Muhammad Tanvir, has told the SC bench hearing the ephedrine scandal that ‘during investigation he was summoned by ANF where his statement was recorded and he also made the statement before the magistrate. Pressure was exerted by the highest offices (prime minister’s secretariat, ministry of interior) through law enforcement agencies, his controlling departments etc. These facts are clear from the order dated 15-05-2012 passed by the SC.’
His Civil Miscellaneous Application No 2911/2012 in CP No 357/2012 states, ‘That before and just after the order passed by the Hon Supreme Court dated 15-05-2012 the government authorities started victimising me to put me under pressure for the change of statements recorded/made before the investigating agencies and the petitioner, Qazi Abdus Saboor, Director General Capital Administration and Development Division was transferred and posted as DG Health on the intervention/desire of Khushnood Akhtar Lashari and Qazi A Saboor was given the charge of CEO of the Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan with immediate effect on 28-05-2012. That due to mala fide intention and under the directions of highest authorities in the government and in connivance under the political influence, as is clear from all the facts and circumstances, the undersigned has been transferred and posted first as de facto OSD without assigning any reason vide inpunged order sated 30-05-2012 and now on 27-06-2012 new orders have been issued for my transfer and posting at Gilgit. It is worthwhile to mention that there is no office, staff, budget or any other tool for performance of duties assigned. It is purely an attempt to pressure and victimise me.”
It is worth mentioning here that Muhammad Tanvir, deputy DG Health is one of those officers who had warned the then secretary health Khushnood Akhtar Lashari about the fraud of two companies getting jacked-up quota of ephedrine and of its possible misuse but all such intimations fell on the deaf ears.
Below is one of his notes written to Khushnood Akhtar Lashari dated 15-12-2010: “The ministry of health experienced immense pressure in the recent past for quota allocation of this narcotic drug and the precursor substance (Ephedrine tablets) having huge misuse potential in manufacturing of narcotic drug and don’t have any medical need beyond 100 kg annually for the whole country. It is likely that there will be immense pressure from different quarters for non-cancellation and withdrawal and also for enhancement of quota for these drugs. Therefore, the secretary health may please like to bring the matter to the kind notice of honourable minister for health.”
Another correspondence bearing No F.10-38/2010-I&E and dated 30-12-2010 says, “Demand of precursors like ephedrine for tablet formulation has abnormally increased during 2010. The national requirement for ephedrine tablet is between 50-100 kg as per IMS data, meaning thereby that the abnormal allocation may have gone into illicit channels instead of medical. We may therefore cut the annual requirement beyond 100 kg of ephedrine for tablets.”