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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Arrest Warrant Issued for Pakistan PM Candidate

RIA Novosti

18:05 21/06/2012 NEW DELHI, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Pakistan has issued an arrest warrant for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Makhdoom Shahabuddin, the DawnNews TV channel reported.

Shahabuddin is a candidate for prime minister nominated by President Asif Ali Zardari.

The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Shahabuddin and two other people in the so-called ephedrine quota case, DawnNews reported.

On June 7, ANF regional director Brig Fahim Ahmed Khan told the Supreme Court that the ANF had widened its inquiry against Shahabuddin, who, he said, had ordered the illegal local conversion of ephedrine after problems with asthma drug deliveries to Afghanistan.

The arrest warrant may complicate the Pakistan People’s Party’s plan to push Shahabuddin to the prime ministerial post. Shahabuddin denies all accusations.

The National Assembly of Pakistan, the lower house of its parliament, is to name the country’s new premier on Friday. The current premier, Yousuf Raza Gilani, is leaving his post on a Supreme Court ruling.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Tuesday disqualified Gilani from the post of prime minister, Pakistani media reported.

The Supreme Court on April 26 declared Gilani convicted of contempt of court and non-fulfillment of its orders after he refused to send a formal request to the Swiss authorities to disclose details of the bank account of President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani refused to reopen the cases closed in 2007 over corruption among a number of Pakistan's political elites.

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