Home News Analysis The analysis of an ill-timed ephedrine verdict

The analysis of an ill-timed ephedrine verdict

When the verdict was due in August, what triggered the judiciary to announce the verdict only 3-days before the Election Day? While, people may ponder over the fast-tracking of Abbasi's case, but, they should not lose sight of the pace of the case during the 5-year PML(N) tenure.

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News Analysis |

The life-sentencing of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N’s) leader Hanif Abbasi has brought contradicting reactions primarily based on the timing of the judgment.

The verdict led to a huge backlash. Resultantly, Election Commission Pakistan postponed the elections in the constituency. Today, Sheikh Rasheed challenged it in, both, Lahore High Court bench in Rawalpindi and at the Apex Court simultaneously.

Abbasi was the candidate of the PML-N from National Assembly seat-NA-60 Rawalpindi-IV. The close electoral contest was expected between the imprisoned Abbasi and AML’s Chairman Sheikh Rasheed.

The court had announced the verdict at around 11 pm on July 21.

Read more: Supreme Court straight-shooting at Hanif Abbasi!

The timing of this decision to disqualify Abbasi merely 3-days before the Election Day is certainly questionable. Political analysts, pundits and even the party workers from different political parties have shown concern over the judicial system for making the electoral process controversial. When the verdict was due in August, what triggered the judiciary to announce the verdict only 3-days before the Election Day?

Those who criticize the verdict for being put on fast track must not forget that this case was in the courts for nearly 6-years. While, people may ponder over the fast-tracking of Abbasi’s case, but, they should not lose sight of the pace of the case during the 5-year PML(N) tenure.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against PML-N’s stalwart and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the CNS Act. Abbasi received the charge sheet in August 2013, and the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) court indicted him, along with other accused in October 2014.

PML-N’s outspoken and controversial leader misused the 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine. He was convicted for obtaining the drug in 2010 for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in order to sell it to narcotic smugglers.

Political analysts, pundits and even the party workers from different political parties have shown concern over the judicial system for making the electoral process controversial.

The case got dragged for years. “The judge urged both parties (Anti-Narcotics Force and Hanfi Abbasi) to demonstrate seriousness as the court wanted to announce verdict within two weeks”. This statement was issued on October 20, 2017, by the special court.

Then why would one show anguish, when Abbasi (with the help of PML-N apparatus) purposely dragged the case for more than 8-months?

Read more: SC dismisses Abbasi’s petition against the swift trial of case in…

He apparently used all the tricks in the book to somehow come out of this case unscathed.  The judgment shows that there is no doubt about the fact that Abbasi smuggled the Ephedrine.

In court, he claimed to have manufactured 6.6mm tablet, but his company had no facility to make a tablet bigger than 6mm. It proved that Grace Pharmaceutical lacked the facility to make the tablets of the size, as claimed in the courts.

Secondly, the receipts presented in the court were inaccurate. The years of claimed sales of the tablet and receipts were different.  Thirdly, Grace Pharmaceutical employees were the witnesses against him in the case.

His counsel presented the names of 17-companies, which were sold the tablets. The 13-companies categorically denied that they purchased the tablets from his company. Moreover, 4-companies shown in the documents as customers did not even exist.

The larger Ephedrine quota was issued during the PPP era. Abbasi’s company was very small and he had no background in this profession. Why was it not monitored?

The verdict led to a huge backlash. Resultantly, Election Commission Pakistan postponed the elections in the constituency. Today, Sheikh Rasheed challenged it in, both, Lahore High Court bench in Rawalpindi and at the Apex Court simultaneously.

The verdict brought forth such questions to the minds of the common men in the country: Why did they announce the verdict at 11 pm, merely 3-days before the elections? Is it a conspiracy, which favors Nawaz more than the establishment or more than Imran Khan? Why would they want to announce a decision that would trigger a negative propaganda, that too, only a few days prior to elections?

The timing of the verdict gives credence to PML-N’s narrative of electoral engineering. Was the judiciary oblivious of what may follow the verdict?


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