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Is Rana Sanaullah A Drug Smuggler?

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The government has propagated endless lies since the arrest of Rana SanaUllah in July of this year. The first lie was that Rana SanaUllah is an international drugs smuggler and on the actual day of the arrest was caught carrying 15 kilograms of heroin. The arrest followed innumerable claims uttered by the State Minister for Narcotics Control and various spokesmen of the government. To give some authenticity to government position, the ANF Chief Major General Arif Malik held a press conference with Sheheryar Afridi. This joint press conference also gave that ‘same page’ message and was meant to act as a caution to any retaliation.

However, Rana Sana Ullah had done his homework well. Rana had already anticipated that he shall be apprehended sooner rather than later and he conveyed his fears to credible journalists and peers. Hatching a plot to neutralise a politician like Rana Sana Ullah was a great idea for a movie plot. In real life, such a story was never remains believable.

At the end of the day people believe what they want to believe. And what people want to believe keeps changing with the circumstances at hand. If the government was delivering the goods and had engendered people’s trust perhaps there was a chance that Rana Sanaullah story would have found public acceptance.

When the Minister and ANF Chief felt surrounded by the intriguing questions of journalists they inadvertently said what they would never have been able to defend. Various claims were made and in order to authenticate each, each claim was followed by Shehryar Afridi’s religious toppings and the major-general’s logic oriented stamp.

“All the movements of Rana Sanaullah Sahib and his vehicle were observed and gauged at all levels. Video footage and other things are with us,” the minister said, while refusing to give further details saying they might harm investigation and key witnesses. If there was such a grave danger to the process of law, impartial investigation and key witnesses, then what was the need to hold the press conference in the first place? The need arose due to the anticipation by the government that their fishing expedition needed some gaps to fill in.

The minister also claimed that he has seen all the evidence himself and as such the same shall be presented before the court, whereas, the ANF Chief when asked about the live footage of arrest contended that if the media is asking for something specific in real time capturing all that happened is not possible. This was not a movie, he added. 
Yet another claim was that the ANF had been following the subject for the last 3 weeks and was aware of the fact that drugs were being smuggled. However the authority chose not to apprehend the minister since he was with his family. Once again this has been seen as an outlandish claim.

Let us suppose that there was a video and it was clearly showing that drugs were found in Rana Sana Ullah’s car, would that have been sufficient evidence to make people believe that Rana Sana Ullah was a drug dealer? The answer is yes. it would have been enough to make the ‘people’ believe but it would have had other legal variants. As Rana Sana Ullah had claimed at various times that the incumbent government was eager in his pursuit, he would have most likely claimed in his defence that all this was a conspiracy to trap him, implying that someone in his own ranks helped them do it. However, the burden to prove that would have been on Rana Sana Ullah himself. This little hypothesis was added to contend that Rana Sana Ullah is fortunate that all this was done in a hurry and no homework was done to counter the gruelling questions that were to be posed by the media and the people which is why majority do not believe the government’s story to be true.

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Supplementary efforts were also made to reinforce what people were not ready to believe in the first place. Various government spokesmen came up with alternative explanations completely unrelated to the event at hand only to make people believe that Rana SanaUllah was definitely capable of committing such an act even if apparently they cannot prove it. Some referred to the Model Town incident of Lahore, others referred to his alleged relations with various banned organisations, yet some claimed that he has murdered many people and even some went as far as saying, “Do you not know who Rana Sana Ullah really is”?. 

Rana Sanaullah’s story will be incomplete without the mention of transfer of the Judge who was hearing Rana SanaUllah’s bail application (aka the WhatsApp transfer.) The government was left with no choice but to transfer the judge even if the transfer allegedly took place while the arguments were being heard. Had the Government not done that and had Rana Sana Ullah gotten the bail, it would have been a defeat for the government as all its valour and self righteousness would have received a severe blow. Having said that, the judge’s transfer has only but delayed the inevitable and put the government in an even more difficult position as now the prosecution in future may be held accountable for apparent bias inherent to this process. Such manipulation of the legal process is only helping Rana SanaUllah in the longer run.

In recent weeks, Minister Shehryar Afridi is finding it extremely hard to reiterate his story with the same conviction. Every time he is pushed with specific questions he brings in Allah Almighty to dodge questions for which he has no answer. He seems to have learned this art from Muhammad Ali Khan who with his mesmerising manner of speaking coupled with a brief recitation of religious verses shields himself and avoids answers to all the questions which cannot possibly be answered. If the Minister is unable to satisfy the people how will he and ANF satisfy the court beyond reasonable doubt that Rana SanaUllah is indeed a drug smuggler and was in fact carrying drugs that day in his car with intent to smuggle them?

Constantly using the name of God Almighty and his Prophet (PBUH) further substantiates the idea that there is more to this case than meets the eye. Shahzeb Khanzada recently revealed in his show all those instances when the concerned Minister kept repeating that he must be believed as he has to give his life to Allah. This is not the political arena where mere swearing is enough to convince the audience. Here is a criminal case governed by law and rules of evidence stemming from both Islamic and Western jurisprudence. The constant swearing by the Minister and prosecution carries no legal value whatsoever.

Shahzeb Khanzada is one of his kind and has often troubled the guests with his tormenting yet intelligent questions. The Minister could not bear this and the very next day came back furiously at the anchor and rather than grabbing the opportunity to undo the harms omitted in this case lashed out and accused the anchor of not being a faithful Muslim before the media.

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The irony is that the party which has most exploited people in the name of religion and God and continues to do so, is accusing Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman of using the pupils of Madrassas. If anyone, it is the PTI which continues to cash in on name of God. The PM in his speech at UNGA too put all his government’s failures (and those of the state) on the back burner and intermittently kept saying that he believes in one God and Pakistanis as a nation will fight till the last breath.

God only helps those who help themselves. PTI and its figurehead should remember that.

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