Rawalpindi - Appointment of an official of a multinational pharmaceutical company as CEO of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah admitted the petition for regular hearing and issued notices to the respondents seeking reply in this regard within fifteen days.

According to the details, former vice president of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mirza Abdul Rehman challenged appointment of Aslam Afghani as CEO DRPA in IHC through his counsel Ali Nawaz Kharal Advocate. The petitioner prayed to the court that CEO DRAP is working in Otsuka Pharmaceutical as director but he was appointed despite availability of four competent officials in the public sector which is violation of sections 5 and 18 of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Act 2012. An official from private sector can only be appointed as CEO DRAP if no one is available in the public sector, he said. Mirza Abdul Rehman who has also served as Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Pharmaceuticals further prayed that Afghani has appointed against a monthly salary of 12 lakh rupees, Rs 75 thousand annual increment and other benefits which is wastage of funds.

He said that government ignored the four public servants who qualified in initial interview conducted for CEO DRAP held on December 24 last year and gave control of pharma sector in the hands of a director of a multinational which is conflict of interest.

The petitioner further said that CEO DRAP is not conversant with Drug rules and that local pharmaceutical companies fear victimization by multinational which has gained additional power. He prayed the court to cancel appointment orders issued in favour of Aslam Afghani. The court admitted petition and issued notices to all the defendants.