Minister Shehryar Afridi defends narcotics case against Rana Sanaullah

State Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi on Wednesday defended his ministry's decision to launch a drug trafficking case against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah.

State Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi defended the decision while addressing a news conference in Islamabad on the bail granted to the PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

On Tuesday, the LHC granted post-arrest bail to the former provincial minister in a 15-kg heroin recovery case, lodged by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).

The PML-N leader got the relief after five months and 23 days in the ANF custody.

The government seemed unhappy on the court order and termed it an “unique precedent”. 

While speaking to media after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, SAPM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the "ANF would present evidence against Rana Sanaullah once the trial of the case begins." 

She had suggested that the “influential” accused in the case had used “resources” which led to judges recusing themselves from hearing the case. Once a judge was appointed, Sanaullah’s lawyers “created obstacles” in the commencement of the trial by using different excuses, she alleged.

“The trial of the case has not yet started. The ANF will present evidence once the trial begins,” she said, adding that the LHC has set a “unique precedent” by granting Sanaullah bail. She said the minister concerned would comment on the decision. 

On July 1, the ANF had arrested Sanaullah while he was heading for a meeting from Faisalabad to Lahore. 

A case was filed in accordance with the Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 after a large stash of contraband was allegedly recovered from his vehicle.

It is pertinent to mention here that Afridi, in the aftermath of Sanaullah's arrest, had repeatedly defended the ANF, claiming to have "pictures and video record" and saying that the PML-N leader's car was monitored for three weeks before a move was made.

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