ISLAMABAD - Khushnood Lashari – a prime suspect in the high-profile ephedrine import case – does not seem to be coming back from Canada, apparently to avoid inquiry by the ANF.
Reliable sources told TheNation that Lashari, who is the principle secretary of the prime minister and also holds charge of establishment division, flew to Canada two weeks back citing health issues. He was expected back in country on Friday but he has extended his leave for one more week. The sources doubted he would return next week because if he did so, he will have to face ANF (Anti Narcotics Force) investigators’ grilling.
ANF Rawalpindi Region Commander Brig Faheem Ahmed, who is leading the investigation, had told the Supreme Court that he was facing undue pressure from PM House to keep hands off Gilani Junior, prime minister’s son Ali Musa Gilani. Khushnood Lashari accused Brig Faheem of misdirecting the court. In a letter to Faheem, he pledged his availability for the probe but now he is missing from the scene in a manner similar to Husain Haqqani, who has gone abroad to avoid Memogate investigation.
Sources also revealed some 20 grade 20-22 officers are awaiting postings due to Lashari’s absence. Generally, if establishment secretary goes abroad for several days he delegates charge to someone , but Lashari did not handed over charge to anyone. The principle secretary to PM can also post grade 20-22 officers, but Lashari holds that position too, so there is noone at the moment to take this important decision. They also said that after former secretary Sohail Ahmed, government made Lashari acting secretary but did not appoint anyone permanently. Sohail had complied with the SC orders and government might be having fear that a new secretary might follow in his footsteps.