Ephedrine case: Secretary accused of threatening officer
ISLAMABAD, Aug 1: Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar may find himself in troubled waters after a senior official of the government’s drug regulatory body accused him on Wednesday of threatening him to exonerate the former health secretary from the ephedrine drug scam, or face consequences.
Considering the allegations as something to be looked into, the Supreme Court decided to summon the interior secretary for August 3 with an affidavit denying the allegation.
Deputy Director General of Drug Regulatory Agency of Pakistan Mohammad Tanvir informed the court that the interior secretary had called him in his office on April 3 to record before the Anti-Narcotics Force a statement exonerating former health secretary Khushnood Akhtar Lashari. Failing which, he said, he had been told to “feel yourself you are fixed”.
The court which had taken up the ephedrine scam case directed a section officer representing the interior ministry to ask the secretary to submit the affidavit. Otherwise, the court said, it would have no other option but to send the matter to a sessions judge for cross-examination of the secretary as well as the accuser.
Mr Tanvir also alleged that he was being harassed by Minister for National Regulation and Services Firdous Ashiq Awan and its member administration Dr Abdul Rashid.
The court accepted his request for becoming a party in the case and ordered the relevant office to maintain status quo. “If they harass him (Tanvir) they will have it,” the chief justice observed.
In his application submitted to the court Mr Tanvir claimed that he had been subjected to victimisation because of his constant
opposition to the grant of unlawful and illegal drugs quotas of ephedrine on fake demand for manufacturing tablets.