ISLAMABAD – Minister for Narcotics Control & SAFRON Shehryar Khan Afridi Thursday said that the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had been tracking Rana Sanaullah for the past three weeks and all relevant evidences would be furnished in the court of law.
These views were expressed by the Minister while addressing a press conference here at PID Center. Director-General (DG) of ANF Maj-General Arif Malik was also present on the occasion.
Briefing media over the arrest of PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah, Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi said that under Naya Pakistan vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, 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 who can target witnesses and evidences,” said the minister and added action would also be taken against more influential and this action won’t stop here.
The Minister said that the ANF had arrested an accused at Faisalabad Airport who then became 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 the car,” the minister said.
Elabourating further, the Minister said that on the day of raid, the ANF got a tip-off that Rana 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 continue and ruthless action would be taken against those involved would be taken irrespective of their influence and position.
The Minister said that the drug mafia groups being rounded up would now target him and his family as he had dared to take action against the drug barons. Drug barons would be tracked down and made an example, the minister added.
Detailing the action against Rana Sanaullah, Shehryar Afridi said that illicit business of drugs Mafias would target him, his family as he had dared to challenge drug barons.
“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 was that the opposition parties were trying to protect Rana Sanaullah despite the fact that he is involved with drugs,” the minister said.
“Today we need to tell the nation that union of thieves (opposition parties) is out to help save drug barons. Why the opposition did not raise their voice over those 1200 Pakistanis arrested by ANF in drugs charges this year. Were they not Pakistanis? Why they raised 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 ANF has is only 3000 manpower and 29 police stations across the country but still it was 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. ANF would also cleanse Pakistan of drug barons,” he said and added that past regimes only arrested drug addicts and their ministers were involved in drugs business, no action was taken against mafia gangs.
“PTI government will arrest top notch criminals and minnows would not have courage. 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 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.
Briefing media, DG ANF Maj-General Arif Malik said ANF is a professional force and it has made highest seizure of drugs in across the world.
“Drugs worth four billion dollars were brunt this year. Pakistan is enjoys 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 by 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 is used for weapons and terrorism,” he added.
General Arif Malik said the ANF had torched drugs worth 40 billion last week.
“Media 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 another question, Gen Arif Malik said that the ANF could have sought physical remand of Rana Sanaullah but it didn’t do so on 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.