ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court turned down on Thursday a request by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) for withdrawal of a case against the import of a proscribed chemical — a scandal that allegedly involves the prime minister’s younger son, Ali Musa Gilani.
Musa Gilani was recently elected member of National Assembly from Multan on a seat vacated by former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after joining the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf.
Earlier, the name of the prime minister’s elder son, Abdul Qadir Gilani, had surfaced in the 2010 Haj corruption case.
A three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez, had taken up a petition moved by the regional director of ANF Islamabad.
The court ordered the ANF to submit an investigation report on out-of-turn quota for import of the raw material granted to two pharmaceutical companies by the federal health ministry allegedly under the influence of Musa Gilani.
The ANF Commander, Brig Faheem, informed the court that a quota of 9,000kg, instead of 1,000kg, had been granted to Berlex Labs International and Denis Pharmaceutical.
Commonly known as poor man’s cocaine, the chemical is also used to manufacture a medicine called ‘Ephedrine’ to cure common cold, flu and asthma.
Advocate Raja Shahid Mehmood Abbasi, representing the ANF, submitted before the court that Brig Faheem intended to withdraw the petition.
“Who gave you the authority to withdraw the case and under what reasons you have decided to withdraw it; something is wrong,” the chief justice suspected.
“Are you scared when you should be setting an example,” the chief justice said.
Brig Faheem said he was not scared and added that the name of Tauqir Ahmed Khan had surfaced during investigations. The man said he was personal secretary to Musa Gilani and got the quota approved by the health ministry against rules and regulations.
Brig Faheem read out a report of an inquiry committee which determined that the two pharmaceutical companies had misused the quota and allegedly sold it to smugglers, instead of using it for the medicine.
“The situation is bringing a bad name for the country as such things are happening at the official level,” the chief justice regretted.
The report said every pharmaceutical company was entitled to a quota of 500kg of the ingredient used to make Ephedrine tablet, but the health ministry had doled out a quota of 9,000kg to Berlex Labs and Denis Pharmaceutical while ignoring 20 other pharmaceutical companies.
The issue was raised in the National Assembly in 2009 and former health minister Makdoom Shahabuddin had set up a fact-finding committee.
The ANF’s investigation officer informed the court that he had issued a notice to Musa Gilani on March 12 last year to join investigation for evidence because Tauqir Khan claimed that he was private secretary to the prime minister’s son. Neither Musa Gilani nor Tauqir Khan appeared.
A letter written by Health Secretary Zafar Abbas to the ANF was also read out. It said evidence against Tauqir Ali Khan should be brought for prior approval for proceedings.
The court adjourned the matter to April 20