FIA releases all 3 pharma owners

 pharmaceutical companiesLAHORE: Complying with Supreme Court (SC) orders, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials late on Tuesday night released the arrested owners of three pharmaceutical companies in connection with the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) medicine tragedy.

The released include Tahir Azam, Chaudhary Nadir and Waseem Chaudhary from Mega Pharma, Alpha Pharma and Pharmaviz respectively. Chauhdary Nadir’s son, Imran Nadir confirmed the release of his father on the phone. He said FIA officials released Nadir in compliance with SC orders. Clarifying the position of the company, he said drug testing labs had conducted tests on medicines manufactured by the company and found them fit for consumption.

However, FIA Punjab spokesperson and Deputy Director Vigilance Haroonul Rasheed rejected the reports of release, stating the agency was yet to receive the SC’s written orders. He said the SC had ordered the release of aforesaid men on bail and they will be presented before the Deputy Registrar, who will grant them bails after taking surety bonds. Asked if any developments had occurred in the case, he said that FIA officials had been busy in court proceedings on Tuesday so investigators were unable to investigate further.

POLICE INQUIRY: Separately, the Punjab Police enquiry team led by DIG Zulifqar Cheema formally started its probe on the matter. Sources said the team members, including DIG Farooq Mazhar and SSP Zulifqar Hameed, visited PIC on Tuesday. It said the investigators recorded statements from PIC officials and checked PIC records. Sources said investigators also discussed chemical examinations with the Chief Chemical Examiner.

Sources said investigators will receive chemical examination reports within a week or so, which will point towards the culpable medicine. Sources said investigators were waiting for autopsy reports of the dead and foreign drug testing labs reports Speaking to media after his PIC visit, DIG Zulifqar Cheema said investigations have started and the guilty will be taken to task. He said the drug testing system was not upto mark in Pakistan and so the medicines had been sent abroad for testing. – PT