- Why is Rana Sanaullah not being brought to trial
State Anti-Narcotics Minister Shehryar Afridi should realise that he will have to find some better reason for not bringing Rana Sanaullah to trial than his purported influence, as a former Punjab Law Minister, over the investigating agencies. Mr Afridi’s admiration of the Anti-Narcotics Force is opportune, as he is the minister in charge of it, but he should not expect others to share that gushing enthusiasm.
It is probably an unconscious result, but Mr Afridi’s reasons for failing to bring Rana Sana before a court show his government in a poor light. Is the narrative that the PTI has still not taken power? Is there not something contrived in his not accepting responsibility for the transfer of the Anti-Narcotics Judge by Whatsapp? The transfer was carried out by the Law Ministry. The allegation that ‘someone’ had deleted the video evidence showing the recovery of drugs from Rana Sana’s vehicle, indicates that the Punjab Safe Cities Authority is not controlled by the PTI’s Punjab government. He says that the Lahore High Court is to be requested to allow the trial to proceed in jail, or for the case to be transferred to Rawalpindi, because the prosecution cannot guarantee the safety of witnesses. If the government cannot guarantee it in drug cases, it has to be the government’s lack of capability.
Is there any truth to the suggestion that the arrest and investigation were so botched, that no judge will convict? Whatever the reason, and not because he is a former Minister, Rana Sanaullah deserves a trial in which he is confronted with the evidence against him, and is given the opportunity to defend himself. If the prosecution is unable to produce the required evidence to effectively try Rana Sana then perhaps his already elongated detention is no longer merited. It would be best if Mr Afridi focused more on making the case against Rana Sana rather than embarrassing himself and the government on television talk shows with justifications for a delay in proceedings that make little to no sense.