–ANF says a huge cache of drugs was recovered from former Punjab law minister’s car
–Opp leaders condemn Sanaullah’s arrest, accuse PM Imran of being behind it
LAHORE: The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab President Rana Sanaullah from the Sukheki area of the Islamabad-Lahore motorway on Monday for possessing a “large quantity of drugs in his car”.
According to a statement released by ANF, drugs were recovered from the former law minister’s car.
“A large quantity of drugs was recovered from Sanaullah’s car,” the statement read, adding that the ANF does not arrest people without any reason. The politician was travelling with his guards at the time of the arrest, it added.
ANF officials said that Sanaullah was travelling to Lahore from Faisalabad to attend a party meeting when he was intercepted by a raiding party.
He was taken into custody, after which the anti-narcotics watchdog started an investigation. “Our mandate is to fight against narcotics,” they added.
According to a local media report, the Special Investigation Cell (SIC), which comprises of various intelligence agencies operators working in close coordination with the Pakistan wing of International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE), spearheaded the operation which led to the PML-N leader’s arrest.
The report stated that SIC had arrested nearly seven frontmen, who revealed information linking the former law minister to a narcotics case. The report added that the frontmen had revealed that they were working for Sanaullah and the sums collected by them through the narcotics business were being used to fund proscribed organisations.
The report further added that ANF has call records which link the PML-N leader to the narcotics business and enabled them to arrest him on Monday.
The PML-N leader is set to be presented before the court on Tuesday amid heavy security. Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi said that ANF would present all evidence against Sanaullah in the court.
OPP CRIES FOUL:
Sanaullah’s arrest was met with widespread criticism from opposition leaders, who said it was an example of political victimisation.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that Sanaullah’s arrest was the worst example of lawlessness, and had exposed the “personal vendetta of Prime Minister Imran Khan”.
“PM Imran has set an example of using national institutions against political opponents,” he added.
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz called the arrest “absurd” and accused the prime minister of being “directly behind his arrest”. She said that the party loyalist was “arrested for his bold and courageous stance”.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the PML-N leader’s arrest was a “desperate attempt at political victimisation”.
“Sanaullah has been a vociferous critic of PPP in the past and is currently one of the most vocal critics of the regime. Arrests expose government’s weakness and desperation,” he said.