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Nation special report

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in Pakistan’s political history, a politician of high calibre and prominent opposition leader has been accused of having links with international drugs gang. The PTI Government has levelled most dangerous charge against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab President Rana Sanaullah, a charge that tantamount to capital punishment and Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi Thursday claimed that he was arrested on a tip-off from international agent.

The state minister held a presser in Islamabad along with Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Director General (DG) Major General Muhammad Arif Malik and revealed that the suspects had planned to smuggle 15 kilograms of heroin abroad from Lahore. Shehryar Afridi said the evidence will be submitted in court and those who are defending the PML-N leader will soon come to know about truth.

Minister for Narcotics Control, Shehryar Khan Afridi along with DG ANF Major General Arif addressing a press conference in Islamabad on July 4, 2019

It is pertinent to mention that Rana Sanaullah has always been a controversial political figure and during PML-N government he was suspected for having close contact with fundamentalist and militants but this charge never proved.

Shehryar Afridi said the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had “complete footage” of PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah Khan before it moved to arrest him.

Sanaullah had been arrested on Monday by the ANF in what is said to be a narcotics case involving proscribed outfits. An ANF spokesperson had earlier notified that a large quantity of narcotics were recovered from Sanaullah’s vehicle at the time of arrest.

Addressing a press conference alongside the ANF Director General, Maj Gen Muhammad Arif Malik, Afridi said narcotics agents had been working on leads following an arrest in Faisalabad.

“For approximately three weeks, Rana Sanaullah’s car and movements were monitored at every level,” he stated, adding: “Everything, A to Z, will be presented in court.”

“These are such cruel and dangerous people that we cannot share all the details with you as they can cause people a lot of damage,” Shehryar told the news conference.

“My message for all those who are promoting Rana Sanaullah sahib is that a lot of things attached to this [case] will be brought forward. No one will be allowed to get away. No one is above the law.”

Afridi said that in three instances while the ANF was tracking Sanaullah’s movements, he had been with female family members and the ANF had therefore decided not to stop him. He applauded the ANF for upholding “family values”.

He reiterated that the authorities had all the evidence they needed against the PML-N leader and that everything would be presented in court.

On Tuesday, Sanaullah had been sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand by a district court in Lahore.

Addressing the press conference, the ANF director general said that they had not sought physical remand of the PML-N leader because they did not need to force him or physically torture him to strengthen their case.

“We took judicial remand because we had sufficient evidence in the matter and thus there was no need for a physical remand,” he said.

Wife’s apprehensions

Speaking to the media after meeting her husband, Sanaullah’s wife said that her husband was feeling very weak as he had not been given any food or water in the past two days. “Rana sahib is weak; he is not even able to speak. He has not been given anything to eat in the past two days. He was given just one slice of bread today. His place of detention does not even have a fan,” she claimed.

“He was escorted in and out of the meeting with me. An official was present throughout the meeting,” she complained, adding that the person who did his medical examination also belongs to the ruling PTI.

“Rana sahib is being punished for telling the truth. We do not fear anything. Even in Pervez Musharraf’s time, he had been honourably freed,” she added.

Addressing the prime minister, Sanaullah’s wife said: “Imran Khan, do everything that suits you. Do things that bring honour to you.” She also vowed to register a First Information Report against Prime Minister Imran.