QUETTA - The Supreme Court (SC) has asked the Anti-Narcotic Force (ANF) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to refrain from harassing pharma owners and employees on the pretext of ephedrine case investigation.During the ephedrine case proceedings at the Quetta Registry, a three-judge SC bench heard that some owners and employees of pharmaceutical companies had unnecessarily been grilled over the ephedrine issue, panicking the industry.The bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, also expressed concern over the advertisements published in local newspapers in connection with the issue. The court observed: “It should not have been published in the newspapers as the case was sub judice.”PML-N’s Hanif Abbasi told the court that pharma owners and employees had been terrified, though these firms had been running the business for the past 22 years without any charges. They didn’t even have the knowledge of what ephedrine was, he added. “The drug was brought to the country in six months, whereas the smugglers, if wanted, could have smuggled it into the country in a day.”Abbasi said: “My employees remain terrified for 18 hours while I was being pressurised.” However, Justice Khwaja asked Abbasi to be patient. The PML-N leader told the court that he was not afraid of cases as he had faced a nasty case by Sheikh Rasheed in 2005 upon which the court asked him to avoid political comment. The ANF lawyer was told that the court would not forgive perpetrators if anybody was terrified unjustifiably. Justice (r) Tariq Mehmood told the court that supply of the ephedrine was made to the pharmaceutical companies under the law. The SC ordered the authorities concerned to submit a complete report to the court on the next hearing fixed for September 12.