LAHORE - Former law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and five other persons were sent to Camp Jail on Tuesday on 14-day judicial remand.

Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) officials presented PML-N Punjab President and five other persons before judicial magistrate Ahmad Waqas, amid elaborate security arrangements.

More than 400 police officers and personnel cordoned off the district courts hours before the ANF team took MNA from Faisalabad to the court. The police blocked the roads leading to the district courts with containers and by erecting barricades. MNA Waheed Alam Khan, MPAs Sami Ullah Niazi and Mian Marghoob Ahmed, son-in-law of Rana Sanaullah and dozens of party workers, however, managed to reach the court. PML-N workers scuffled with police for not allowing entry in the district courts. Highly charged workers chanted slogans in favour of party leadership and against the present regime.

Senior lawyers Azam Nazir Tarar and Atta Ullah Tarar also reached the court before arrival of the ANF team for opposing request of physical remand.

On request of Azam Nazir Tarar to give 10-minute time for consulting with the accused, special magistrate said that such facility could not be given as the courtroom was packed to the capacity. On offer of Mr Tarar that he would evacuate the courtroom within five minutes, the judge granted the permission. However, Tarar was not needed to argue the case as the ANF prosecutor requested for sending Rana Sanaullah and other five accused Akram, Umer Farooq, Amir Rustum, Usman Ahmed and Sibtain Khan on judicial remand. On the request of ANF, the court sent all the accused to Camp Jail on 14-day judicial remand. After the court order, the police shifted Rana Sanaullah and five other accused to Camp Jail amid strict security.

PML-N President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting of parliamentary advisory board at party secretariat in Model Town on Tuesday to discuss the scenario and future course of action in the aftermath of arrest of a key leader. Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and top party leaders attended the meeting. Atta Ullah Tarar briefed the participants about legal aspects of the case.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of using institutions for intimidating the opponents.

Flanked by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Marriyum Aurangzeb, he said that arrest of a key player of the opposition was the worst example of misuse of authority for political victimisation. He said the move was aimed at diverting attention of the people from the anti-poor budget. Referring to the ANF claims that raid was made on a tip off given by an informant, he said that the informant was the PM himself.

“Who had given the tip-off about presence of 15kg drugs in Rana Sanaullah’s car”, he raised the question before answering himself that Imran Khan Niazi was the said informant.

He said Rana Sanaullah had worked with him as law minister for 10 years and had conducted countless raids on places where drugs were sold and consumed. It was a pity, he said, the PM has resorted to leveling baseless allegations against him. He said that such steps would fail to give desired results to the PM as the PML-N would continue to stand by the farmer, the poor and against inflation and unemployment. He said the entire PML-N leadership was ready to go behind bars provided it helped the government to end poverty and inflation.

Referring to reports of meeting of PML-N legislators with the PM few days back, he said that notices had been served to those MPAs to appear before a committee for clarifying their position.

To a query that he himself was beneficiary of Atta Manika-led unification bloc during his tenure as Chief Minister from 2008-2013, Shehbaz argued that all came at own and none of them was given any position in the government. As such, he said, the present scenario could not be compared with the incident in the past. He lamented that PM had ordered stopping physicians-prescribed diet for Nawaz Sharif being sent from home, and also visits by his physicians and relatives. He warned that with such cheap tactics, Imran Niazi would never be able to break the courage of PML-N leadership. He said Imran Niazi was still living in the captaincy of ’92, adding that the world cup was not single handedly won by Imran but it was a team effort. He said that country had never seen such a worst liar and deceitful PM in 72-year history. He alleged that Imran Niazi had taken family corruption to new heights, and smartly covered up the huge properties of his sister Aleema Khan. He alleged that Imran had destroyed country’s economy in 11 months and was heading towards destroying everything within next few months. He opined that Imran Khan was descended on the country like a divine curse.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said arrest of Sanaullah in a fake case was worst example of state terrorism. He said that ANF team intercepted Rana Sanaullah’s vehicle near toll plaza. He claimed that nothing was recovered from his vehicle. “Rana Sanaullah was informed about recovery of drugs at night. First the quantity was stated to be 21kgs and later as 15kgs,” he said. He said that smuggling of drugs from Faisalabad to Lahore was quite illogical. He lamented that such cases had never been made against politicians even by dictators.

“Drug cases had never been registered even during worst days of dictatorship. The present regime has initiated this practice”, he said.