Man who claimed to be dead in NAB reference appointed DRAP head

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday appointed Sheikh Akhtar Hussain, who had claimed to be dead in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference against him, as the head of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). Sheikh Akhtar Hussain, who faced allegations of irregularities in DRAP during the previous government’s term, had a NAB case dropped against him after he managed to declare himself dead. A notification issued on Thursday stated that the government has appointed Hussain as the chief executive officer (CEO) of DRAP after the federal cabinet’s approval. “With the approval of the federal government and cabinet decision dated 20.12.2018, Dr Sheikh Akhtar Hussain, is appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan under Ministry of NHS, R&C, on contract basis for a period of three years, in terms of Section 5 of the DRAP Act, 2012, with immediate effect and until further orders,” the notification issued by the Ministry of National Health Services read. NAB had filed a reference against then DRAP officer Hussain in 2011. Hussain was accused of involvement in embezzlement of Rs51 million. However, Hussain had declared himself dead and escaped punishment in the reference. As per a handout released by NAB on November 8, 2017, the chairman of the accountability watchdog, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had directed that an inquiry be completed as per the law against Hussain and the NAB officer who was involved in declaring the DRAP officer dead. The NAB handout had stated that except for Hussain the other four suspects named in the reference had completed their sentences. DRAP was established under DRAP Act 2012 to provide effective coordination and enforcement of the Drugs Act 1976 besides bringing harmony in inter-provincial trade and commerce of therapeutic goods. DRAP also fixes prices of medicines and takes notice in case of a complaint about substandard drugs.
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