RAWALPINDI - Special Judge Control of Narcotics Substances Court , Arshad Mehmood Tabbasum, on Monday issued permanent arrest warrants of former Secretary Health Khushnood Akhter Lashari in controlled chemical ephedrine smuggling case.

Lashari was also declared as proclaimed offender (PO) in the case by the court. Resuming the hearing in the case of illegal allotment of controlled chemical, CNSC Special Judge Arshad Mehmood Tabbasum issued the permanent arrest warrants after the accused Lashari failed to appear before the court despite summoning him several times.

Meanwhile, Syed Ali Musa Gilani, a former PPP MNA from Multan and son of former premier Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani, filed a plea before the court seeking complete exemption from appearance in the case because of security threats.

 In the application filed through counsel Faisal Chaudhry, Musa stated that since his brother was kidnapped by some unknown culprits, he has also been facing threats. He also requested the judge to exempt him from appearance till the case was decided. CNSC Judge granted exemption to Gilani for today (Monday) and ordered Anti-Narcotics Force to present the accused before the court on the next date of hearing.

Other 10 accused including former federal minister Makhdoom Shihabuddin were also present in the court. Abdul Shakeel Sheikh, the defense council, on one occasion during his arguments said that all the four approvers should be kept in the jail till the case was decided.

The court ordered to distribute copies of the charge sheet among the accused and adjourned the hearing till June 22, 2013.

The court also ordered the accused to submit their reply in response to the plea filed by ANF to seize the assets of the accused in ephedrine case. The challan comprised over 4,000 documents and included the names of 52 witnesses and statements of 125 people. The ANF started a formal probe into the case on October 10, 2011.

According to the findings of the ANF, Dr Rasheed Juma illegally allowed the allocation of the chemical. Another former director general health, Asad Hafeez, and the then secretary health Khushnood Lashari also allowed the allocation and sale of the chemical to the companies.