“We are struggling very hard to nab the smugglers there, and Iranian authorities will also be approached if ANF smells the rat that the controlled chemical ephedrine was smuggled to the other country,” DG added during an interaction with a group of journalists at ANF Headquarters.
ANF Director Legal Assistance Col Akhter Abbas was also present on the occasion. So far, ANF had grilled over 90 persons in the case and the investigation could also be broadened in future, he stated.
Expelling the impression that ANF is playing on the nod of Pakistan Army, Zafar made it clear that “ANF only acts within the four corners of Minister of Narcotics Control and are answerable to the secretary of the ministry instead of high-ups of any other authority.”
He said that Army has nothing to do with the activities of the ANF and it was not intervened into any case being probed by the force. However, he said, military officers only served in ANF while on deputation.
DG ANF said that there was no truth in the rumors that ANF was being managed or controlled by Pakistan Army rather the force entirely worked under the supervision of the Federal government.
The Force head was of view that some person accused in the Ephedrine allocation quota scam had been trying to create the impression that only military officials serving in ANF were roping the politicians in the case. “In ANF 50 per cent staff is directly recruited and rest is obtained on deputation from army and police” he asserted. Replying to a query, Maj Gen Zaffar Iqbal said that it was wrong to say that the arrest of owners of Pharma Companies involved in Ephedrine case created shortage of love saving medicines in the marker.
“The ANF is only concerned with the illegal use of the controlled chemical and the medicines prepared with the ephedrine are not under the domain of the force”, he stressed.
When asked as to why action was not taken in 2010 when allocation of the Ephedrine quotas were issued by Federal Health Ministry, the DG ANF said that at that time Director General Health was responsible to keep the record of the allocated Ephedrine only.
It was only after the devolution of health ministry a Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) was established. Under the authority a committee having a member from ANF was established to allocate the quotas of the controlled chemicals, he said.
ANF did not create hindrances in the way of Makhdoom Shihabuddin at the time of his nominee as PM of Pakistan. It was a coincident that ANF obtained his arrest warrants only after when he (Makhdoom) thrice refused to appear before the force for the investigation despite issuance of summons number of times, Major General said replying to another query. However, he remained tight lipped over commenting on Syed Ali Musa Gilani episode.
He stated that two other important accused in Ephedrine case including Khushnud Lashari and Tauqeer Ahmed Khan are still at large. According to ANF information Lashari is on ex-Pakistan leave till 30 September while Tauqeer Ahmed Khan hiding in Dubai.