ISLAMABAD   -   The federal government Saturday requested the Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) to “immediately” transfer the narcotics case against PML-N Punjab president and MNA Rana Sanaullah from Lahore to Rawalpindi, or trial should be held within the prison as the security of witnesses is under threat.

Minister In-charge for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi said this while addressing a press conference here. He also requested the court that the trial of the case should be held on daily basis in order to clear doubts among masses that the politician had been arrested in a fake case. “CJ LHC should order that prosecution should be allowed to present evidence in the case before court.”

In July this year, the Anti-Narcotics Force had booked former law minister Punjab for carrying 15 kg narcotics in his vehicle while he was travelling from Faisalabad to Lahore — a charge that Sanaullah denied.

The minister also asked the Punjab police chief to provide security to the prosecution witnesses in the case following their complaints of being threatened. He claimed that ANF authorities were under threat and the lives of witnesses in the case were in danger.

“From the very first day, I stressed in every talk show, and at other forums to start Sanaullah’s trial but I have failed to understand the reason behind this delay,” he said, citing the report of a newspaper that the duty judge had turned down the prosecution request for initiation of trial in the case.

He said that ANF had sufficient evidence against PML-N leader in the narcotics case which would be provided when the trial would start. The evidence comprised “recovered heroin, weapons, chemical analysis report and over two dozen witnesses,” he said.

Dubbing Sanaullah as the Mexican drug lord El Chapo, Afridi claimed that Sanaullah’s properties, bank accounts of having big amount of money and investments in real estate had been traced and all these assets were beyond his known sources of income. He questioned that from where he earned billions of rupees while he declared the advocacy as his source of income in tax returns. Being an advocate, not a single law book mentioned his name, he added while showing the papers containing alleged details of his assets.

The minister showed his disappointment that a media trial of ANF had started with this arrest instead of Sanaullah despite the fact that the prosecution witnesses were yet to record their statements before the court. He also claimed that a uniform-clad force could not even be criticised in the parliament under the Constitution.

Though, the apex court had barred the media from airing the statement of an accused in MQM founder Altaf Hussain case, the media is giving full coverage to the accused and creating hype, he said.