ISLAMABAD - Following the directives of Supreme Court, which ordered a free and fair investigation into the ephedrine quota scam, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Friday issued summons for Musa Gilani, the son of PM Yousuf Raza Gilani, to grill him again on May 12.

Furthermore, central leader of main opposition party Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) Hanif Abbasi will also appear before the investigation team on May 8 in relation to the case. Musa Gilani will be appearing before the ANF investigation team for the second time. Earlier on April 26, he along with his counsel Fawad Chaudhry appeared before the investigation officer of the ANF and recorded a statement. However, the junior Gilani, who has already claimed that his phone number was misused and for which an investigation should be conducted, said he was ready to appear before the investigators again, if and when required. The case revolves around a Rs7 billion scam, involving illegal sale of controlled substance ephedrine. Musa Gilani’s alleged involvement in the case came to light in the wake of an ANF report which was presented before the apex court. The report said the accused managed to convert the allotment of drugs intended for export into local use with the help of the health ministry staff and under alleged political pressure from Musa Gilani and Mian Abdul Sattar. Earlier, the ANF, while widening its scope of investigation, had questioned owners of 11 pharmaceutical companies for their alleged involvement in the case.

The investigation team issued summons to the owners these pharmaceutical companies advising them to cooperate with the ANF to reach out to the central characters of the case, an official told The Nation, adding, that investigation team had added another companies on the list. The owners appeared before the investigators between April 26 and 28.

The investigation officer had earlier summoned Narcotics Control Ministry Acting Secretary Zafar Abbas and Principal Secretary to PM Khushnood Lashari. It is worth mentioning that the Supreme Court took notice of the case and directed the ANF to thoroughly investigate the matter that how did the two pharmaceutical companies managed to get out of turn and huge quota for ephedrine from the federal Health Ministry.

The scam involves the violation of rules while awarding contract to import 9,000kgs of ephedrine to two companies allegedly under the influence of Ali Musa Gilani. This substance is used to synthesis medicines for cold, flu and asthma but is also used in such dangerous drugs as heroin. The matter was raised in the National Assembly in 2009 and the then Health Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin formed a committee to give recommendations. ANF initiated investigation against 10 people, including Dr Rashid Juma, Iftikhar Ahmed Babar, Rizwan Ahmed Khan, Ihsanur Rehman, Tanvirul Hassan Shirazi, Abdul Waheed, Ansar Farooq Ch, Col (r) Tahir, Hashim Khan and Tauqir Ali.