Afridi requests LHC to transfer Sanaullah drug case to Pindi

Seeks protection for witnesses in the case

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD

Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi on Saturday said the lives of the witnesses in the Rana Sanaullah drug case may be in danger and requested Lahore High Court (LHC) chief justice to start the trial by transferring the case to Rawalpindi or hold the trial in prison.

“It is my humble submission to the Chief Justice Lahore High Court to shift Rana Sanaullah’s case to Rawalpindi and order the court to conduct its hearing on daily basis,” Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi said while addressing a press conference here.

The minister also asked the Inspector General (IG) of Punjab to provide protection to the witnesses in the high-profile case.

“From the very first day, I emphasize in every press conference, talk show and other forums to start Rana Sanaullah’s trial but I am failed to understand the reason behind procrastination,” he said, citing the report of a national daily which stated that the duty judge had turned down the prosecution plea for initiation of Rana’s trial.

The Anti-Narcotics Force’s (ANF) Lahore team had arrested Sanaullah – while he was travelling from Faisalabad to Lahore – in July this year. The ANF had allegedly recovered 15-kilogramme heroin from his vehicle, a claim Sanaullah denied.

“Rana Sanaullah was caught red-handed with 15-kilogrammes of heroin. There are witnesses and evidence against the PML-N leader. Statements have been recorded under Section-342,” said the minister during the press conference.

“Sanaullah’s source of income is also unknown. He did not even declare his assets. From where did he earn billions of rupees?” asked Afridi.

Comparing Sanaullah with the Mexican drug lord El Chapo, Afridi said: “Since the ANF got a hold of the PML-N leader, a media trial is going on instead of Sanaullah’s.”

“Suspects are indicted as soon as a challan is presented in court, but it is the first trial in the country, where no witness has so far been summoned.”

The minister also claimed that as per the Constitution, a uniform-clad force could not even be criticised in the parliament. “Sanaullah is threatening ANF authorities and the lives of witnesses in his case are in danger,” Afridi added.

He termed Sanaullah’s case a test for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The minister also urged the authorities to take notice of the threats being given to the ANF officials.