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State Minister for Narcotics Control & SAFRON Shehryar Khan Afridi on Thursday said that Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) has sufficient evidence against Rana Sanaullah. While addressing a press conference, Afridi said that ANF had been tracking Sanaullah for the past three weeks and all relevant evidences would be furnished in the court of law.
Briefing the media persons over the arrest of PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah, Afridi said that under Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision of Naya Pakistan, no one is above the law and everyone found involved in any unlawful activity would be brought to book.
"We have all relevant evidence regarding the arrest of Rana Sanaullah sahib. However, we will furnish the evidence in court. It's a mafia which can target witnesses and evidences," said the minister and added that action would also be taken against more influential people and this action won't stop here.
The minister said that the ANF had arrested an accused at Faisalabad Airport who then became an approver and gave information about involvement of Rana Sanaullah.
"Based on the leads provided by the accused arrested from Faisalabad Airport, the ANF was able to track Rana Sanaullah who was later followed for three weeks and all relevant data was acquired. ANF could have arrested Rana Sanaullah thrice before too but he was spared as (female) family members were also present in his car," the minister said.
Elaborating further, the minister said that on the day of raid, the ANF got a tip-off that Sanaullah's official car would again be used for transporting drugs to Lahore Airport from where the carrier would smuggle it abroad. He said transportation of drugs is a difficult business and VIP cars can help them doing so.
He said that investigations are under way and ruthless action would be taken against those involved would be taken irrespective of their influence and position.
The minister said that drug mafia groups being rounded up would now target him and his family as he has dared take action against the drug barons. Drug barons would be tracked down and made an example, the minister added.
"After taking action against land mafia, we took action against drug mafia which is a major source to bring a bad name to Pakistan internationally. But the irony is that the opposition parties are trying to protect Rana Sanaullah despite the fact that he is involved in such a heinous crime," the minister said.
He said, "We need to tell the nation that union of thieves (opposition parties) is out to help save drug barons. Why did the opposition not raise their voice over 1,200 Pakistanis arrested by ANF on drugs charges this year? Were they not Pakistanis? Why did they raise voice only for Rana Sanaullah? We won't let this VIP culture thrive anymore. This opposition is a coterie of thieves," he said.
Shehryar said the ANF has only 3,000 manpower and 29 police stations across the country but still it is taking wonderful action against drug peddlers.
"The opposition parties also raised hue and cry when Rangers was summoned to settle mess in Karachi. Today Karachi is cleansed. The ANF would also cleanse Pakistan of drug barons," he said and added that past regimes only arrested drug addicts and as their ministers were involved in drug business, no action was taken against mafia gangs.
"The PTI government will arrest topnotch criminals. There would be zero tolerance against drug mafia. The message for mafia groups is that we are not here to complete five years term... we are here to cleanse Pakistan of this menace. We need to tell the nation that there are no more holy cows in this country," he added.
"We need to stand united against drug barons. Media needs to support the ANF rather than bringing the ANF to hold accountability," he said.
Briefing the media persons, Director General (DG) ANF Major General Arif Malik said that ANF is a professional force and it has made highest seizure of drugs across the world.
"Drugs worth four billion dollars were brunt this year. Pakistan has been enjoying poppy-free status since year 2001 despite the fact that Pakistan neighbours Afghanistan which is center of poppy cultivation," he said.
He said that ANF's professionalism could be gauged from the fact that its conviction rate is 95 percent which speaks volumes about its success.
"We have seized assets worth Rs 800 million. Illicit business of drugs is a menace spreading to education institutions now. Drug business generates free money which is then used for buying weapons and committing terrorism," he added.
"Media's role is very positive to help ANF crackdown against drug barons. We can't win this war without media's support. International image of ANF is very positive and it enjoys trust worldwide," he added.
Responding to a question, General Malik said that the ANF could have sought physical remand of Rana Sanaullah but it didn't do so for a purpose. "Had we sought physical remand of Rana Sanaullah, the opposition may have then accused the ANF for torturing the accused to get confession of the accused," he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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