‘No evidence to link Musa Gilani to ephedrine scandal’
* Counsel says several people called ex-DG (health) to secure ephedrine quota; one introduced himself as Musa Gilani
By Tanveer Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s House swung into action on Monday on ephedrine import scandal, involving Ali Musa Gilani, younger son of the prime minister, when it arranged a briefing for a selective group of journalists to assert that the case was fabricated and there was no solid evidence against the younger Gilani.
Salman Akram Raja, lawyer of Ali Musa Gilani, strongly contended that his client has been implicated in the case and there was no concrete proof against him. Referring to the affidavit submitted by former director general (DG) (health) Dr Rasheed Juma, Raja said the officer had received several phone calls from people using the name of influential persons to secure ephedrine quota, and one of the callers introduced himself as Musa Gilani. The younger Gilani vehemently denied making any call to Dr Juma.
The counsel called the statement a farce, saying it did not prove that Musa Gilani pressured Dr Juma for a licence to import ephedrine. Questioning his credibility, Raja said Dr Juma was the only DG (health) who had registered 4,000 drugs in one sitting, which was opposed by the then health secretary Khushnood Lashari. He noted that due to the track record of the former DG, Lashari had opposed his promotion, which led to tension between the two and also to the naming of the latter as co-accused in the case.
The counsel denied Musa Gilani has been declared accused in the case, saying he has not been named in any challan submitted in the court, contrary to a report by Anti-Narcotics Force Director Fahim Ahmed Khan in which the younger Gilani has been mentioned as accused. Raja termed the proceedings against Musa Gilani unilateral, and pledged to raise all those points in the court which would absolve him from any wrongdoing. Raja opined that being a son of the prime minister, Musa Gilani was a soft target for the forces that wanted to destabilise the government.