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Tuesday Dec 24 2019

LHC grants bail to Rana Sanaullah in narcotics case

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday granted bail to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah in the narcotics possession case.

Sanaullah has been granted bail against two surety bonds worth Rs1 million each.

Earlier, on November 10, a special court for the Control of Narcotics Substances had dismissed Sanaullah's bail petition. The petition had pleaded that the case against Sanaullah was 'politically motivated and based on mala fide intentions. It had argued that the alleged recovery of narcotics from Sanaullah had merely been an 'eyewash'.

The petition had said that the prosecution had failed to present any independent witnesses of the alleged recovery from Sanaullah. It had said that the video evidence presented before the trial court had been contradictory to the incidents narrated in the first information report (FIR), according to The News.

The inside story of Rana Sanaullah's arrest by the ANF

Failing that petition, Sanaullah had again approached the LHC on November 20 seeking release on bail.

On July 1, the Anti Narcotics Force (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.

Fake govt has made fake cases: Talal Chaudhry

Speaking to Geo News, PML-N’s Talal Chaudhry lashed out at the government, saying: “This is a fake government that has made fake cases against the opposition.”

“The relief being afforded to our leaders these days is because the cases [registered against them] are fake,” he said. “If today someone is [set] free, tomorrow someone else will be arrested.”

He added that the incumbent government was surviving on fake arrests and "running on fake cases".

Chaudhry said there were now question marks over the ANF now.

“The government is using these institutions for political ends," he alleged.

Afridi's allegations and 'evidence' against Sanaullah

It is pertinent to mention that Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar 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.

"Thrice, Sanullah was with his female family members so we did not stop him. We have pictures and video records," Afridi had said in press conference along with ANF Director General Major General Arif Malik.

Afridi had further said the raid was carried out on a tip-off from an accused arrested from Faisalabad.

Separately, in a press conference in October, Afridi had claimed there was evidence against Sanaullah him, adding that the lives of the witnesses in the case were in danger.

Read also: Lives of witnesses in danger, says Shehryar Afridi

Afridi had said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was after the drug dealers in the country, but whenever a political drug dealer was arrested, a media trial of ANF was done.

Terming Sanaullah’s case as a test case, the state minister had claimed they had evidence and witnesses against him. The minister, during his press conference had also played an alleged audio message from Sanaullah during the press conference as well.