ISLAMABAD - The Foreign Office spokesman has strongly refuted print media reports that an INCB team is to visit Pakistan for details on ephedrine scam. But sources insist that the team was visiting the country with a particular concern to the ephedrine case.The INCB (International Narcotics Control Board) is the independent and quasi-judicial control organ of the United Nations which monitors the implementation of the UN drug control conventions.In a press statement issued Thursday, the spokesman said that INCB did not raise this issue with Pakistan’s acting Permanent Representative in New York. Moreover, he said that Pakistan’s embassy in Vienna, and not the Permanent Mission in New York, was responsible for coordinating with the INCB, the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and the Ministry of Narcotics Control.The spokesman said that INCB maintains regular dialogue with all governments to assist in implementation of drug control related treaties. This objective is pursued through regular interaction and country visits in consultation with the governments concerned.A two-member INCB team will be visiting Pakistan from 11-14 September 2012 as part of “regular consultations”. Earlier, the INCB conducted a similar mission to Pakistan in 2004, he said, adding that the scope of the INCB mission to Pakistan is similar to its visits to other countries.The spokesperson said the mission would review the ongoing cooperation between Pakistan and the relevant international UN agencies like the INCB and the UNODC. The Pakistan side would brief the INCB team on counter-narcotics efforts being undertaken by the government, he added.But some official sources confided to The Nation on Thursday that the Foreign Office had warned higher authorities of the Ministry of Narcotics control this week that non-cooperation on their part with the visiting INCB team in ephedrine drug scam could seriously damage Pakistan’s reputation worldwide. “We need to cooperate with the International drug control agency at any cost. They could cause damage to Pakistan’s image internationally in case we did not respond to them positively,” they quoted Foreign Office as saying.Sources said the UN panel recently conveyed to authorities in Pakistan that a three-member team was ready to land in Islamabad next week and that it wants the Ministry of Narcotics Control and Anti-Narcotics Force to brief the panel about history and current status of ephedrine drug scam.But the sources said that the Foreign Office was yet to hear from the Ministry of Narcotics Control in this regard. “I don’t think that ministry officials can arrange a briefing for the UN team until the end of this month,” a senior official of the Ministry of Narcotics Control told TheNation on Thursday. He agreed that non-cooperation with the visiting team could further damage the already tarnished image of Pakistan due to ephedrine scam.He, however, said that involvement of powerful politicians including former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Musa Gilani and incumbent federal textile minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin in the ephedrine drug scam was main problem for the government, which was constantly pressing authorities of Ministry of Narcotics Control to use delaying tactics to keep the INCB team at distance. The Vienna-based INCB in its recent report said that India has become a hub of drugs sold through illegal internet pharmacies . It also held India responsible for raising drug abuse in its neighbourhood, particularly in Bangladesh and Nepal. Experts fear, the INCB may treat Pakistan in the same way on account of ephedrine scandal.Also on Thursday, sources told The Nation that ANF raiding team was facing bureaucratic hurdles to arrest Musa Gilani and Makhdoom Shahabuddin. However, the sources said the two accused could be arrested anytime as the ANF team is vigorously raiding suspected places to arrest them.