ISLAMABAD: Members of a parliamentary body on Friday doubted the government’s version that MNA Rana Sanaullah had 15 kilograms of drugs worth Rs220 million in his car.
“There is a general scare that anyone can plant drugs in anyone’s car. The matter has been hushed up. We want to know exact details of the case of Rana Sanaullah’s arrest,” said Senator Saleem Zia of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, who raised the issue during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Control.
“Why would a politician and a former law minister be carrying drugs with him and that too in such huge quantities?” Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Anwar Lal Dean asked a senior official from the narcotics ministry and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).
The committee members implied that the drugs were planted in the car of Mr Sanaullah, who was arrested on the Faisalabad-Lahore Motorway. His arrest prompted protest from the PML-N members, who condemned his apprehension. They argued that Mr Sanaullah was arrested without any allegation and case against him, terming it the worst example of lawlessness and political revenge.
Nonetheless, in his response, ANF Director General Maj General Mohammad Arif Malik urged the members to desist from making assumptions.
“The minister for narcotics has already given a briefing on the matter. It would be unreasonable to assume that drugs were planted on him [Mr Sanaullah]. Members should either come forward with proof that he was framed or believe the version of the ANF that drugs were recovered from him,” the ANF director general said.
As many as 95 per cent of the 1,200 persons arrested on charges of narcotics recently had been convicted after sufficient evidence was presented in the court, said Maj Gen Malik. He urged the members to wait for a decision by the court in Mr Sanaullah’s case.
Narcotics control ministry secretary Amjad Javed Saleemi also urged the members that it was too early to give any judgement at any level.
“We will send a complete report on the matter. There are so many things that police officers should not discuss before presenting them in the court of law. The ANF DG has the rank of a major general who would not misinform the members,” said Mr Saleemi.
Nonetheless, Kamran Michael requested the chairman of the committee to summon Narcotics Control Minister Shehryar Afridi for a thorough briefing on the arrest of Mr Sanaullah. “He had been elected seven times and the minister for narcotics control should personally brief the committee,” Mr Michael said.
After the meeting, Mr Saleemi declined to respond to questions posed by media persons.
Later in the evening, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said at a press conference that the government was trying to silence Mr Sanaullah.
The headline of this article has been changed for purposes of clarity.