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ANF arrested Rana Sanaullah

02 July, 2019

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LAHORE: The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Monday arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab President Rana Sanaullah from near Sukheke area while he was traveling from Faisalabad to Lahore to attend a party meeting.

The ANF has not officially specified the charges on which Rana Sanaullah has been picked up, but spokesperson Riaz Soomro said drugs were recovered from the PML-N leader’s car. The quantity and type of drugs recovered is still being assessed, he said.

“We are having some difficulties getting information from ANF Lahore,” he told a private TV channel. “ANF does not arrest any individual without due cause,” he continued. “Force Commander Brig Khalid Mehmood is overseeing the investigation,” he said. “Sanaullah is being kept in ANF Police Station I,” he revealed. “ANF Headquarters Rawalpindi is in touch with ANF Lahore. A statement on the drugs recovered can only be issued after completion of due process,” he added.

An ANF Lahore spokesperson confirmed that the PML-N senior leader was arrested and a case was being filed in accordance with the Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997, after a large stash of contraband was recovered from his vehicle. Sanaullah is set to be presented in a narcotics court on Tuesday (today) for remand proceedings, the spokesperson noted, adding that he was arrested in light of numerous proofs. “Investigation in this regard is ongoing and further details will be revealed soon,” he added.

In a statement on the matter, Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi said the PML-N leader has been arrested by the ANF which is a responsible force and works under the leadership of a serving major general.

“He will now be presented in a court of law where ANF will submit proofs against him while he will have to prove himself innocent,” he said, adding that as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, no citizen of the state is above law whether he is from the government or the opposition.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said Sanaullah’s arrest is the worst example of lawlessness, and has exposed the ‘personal vendetta of PM Imran Khan’. “PM Imran has set an example of using national institutions against political opponents,” he said.

Shehbaz alleged that it is another example of using state institutions against political opponents. He demanded of the government to produce Sanaullah before a court of law.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz called the arrest ‘absurd’ and accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of being ‘directly behind his arrest’. She said the party loyalist was arrested for his ‘bold and courageous stance’.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairperson of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), said the PML-N leader’s arrest is a ‘desperate attempt at political victimisation’. “Sanaullah has been a vociferous critic of PPP in the past & is currently one of the most vocal critics of the regime. Arrests expose govts weakness & desperation,” he said in a message on Twitter.

Rana Sanaullah is former Punjab minister for law and parliamentary affairs. A close aide to the Sharif brothers, he began his political career from his native town of Faisalabad. Initially, he entered Pakistan People’s Party but later joined the PML-N. Currently, he is a member of the National Assembly. He was appointed president of PML-N Punjab in May this year.

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