|Sensitive issue: UN panel wants ephedrine case update|
05 September 2012
Rejecting a request to delay its visit for a couple of months, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) approached Pakistan’s acting permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar to arrange a briefing for the UN panel on the ephedrine case, during its visit to Islamabad between September 10 and 15.
Requesting anonymity, a senior government official told the Express Investigation Cell (EIC) that the INCB had expressed grave concerns over confusing signals originating from Islamabad, regarding its panel’s visit to investigate what transpired in the diversion of the ephedrine drug from Pakistan in 2011 and 2012, to Iran and other countries.
The INCB asked Ambassador Tarar to press the government to comply with it and ensure the panel holds productive meetings on the scandal with government concerned officials during its visit.
The INCB had announced the visit of its 3-member panel to Islamabad around three months ago to review the investigations conducted in the ephedrine case, but the government seems reluctant to welcome the panel on the grounds that its officials were unavailable for any briefing on the issue. It desired the UN panel to delay its visit for a few months.
Ambassador Tarar is said to have quickly moved to convey INCB’s concerns to the relevant authorities in Islamabad.
The drug panel took up the matter with the Foreign Office, demanding it to press the concerned departments that they, instead of resisting, should cooperate with the UN to help its panel get the required information on the issue.
Cognizant of the sensitivity of the matter, the Foreign Office conveyed the INCB’s concerns to the relevant ministries and asked them to assist the UN panel to avoid any embarrassment for Pakistan at the international level.
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