PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah Khan was arrested on Monday by the Anti Narcotics Force's (ANF) Lahore team while he was traveling from Faisalabad to Lahore, sources in the ANF confirmed to DawnNewsTV.
The senior PML-N lawmaker was arrested from the Islamabad-Lahore motorway near the Sukheki area, the sources said.
The ANF has not officially specified the charges on which Sanaullah has been picked up, but spokesperson Riaz Soomro said drugs were recovered from Sanaullah's car. The quantity and type of drugs recovered is still being assessed, he said.
"We are having some difficulties getting information from ANF Lahore," he said. "ANF does not arrest any individual without due cause."
Force Commander Brig Khalid Mehmood is overseeing the investigation, the ANF spokesperson told DawnNewsTV. Sanaullah is being kept in ANF Police Station I, he added.
"ANF Headquarters Rawalpindi is in touch with ANF Lahore. A statement on the drugs recovered can only be issued after completion of due process," he said.
PML-N leader Attaullah Tarrar had earlier told reporters that he had contacted Sanullah today. According to him, the PML-N provincial president was about to leave the Sukheki area to attend a meeting in Lahore.
The former provincial law minister was appointed president of PML-N Punjab in May this year.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the arrest and said that Sanaullah was arrested without any allegation and case against him. He termed it the worst example of "lawlessness and political revenge".
Sharif alleged that it was another example of using state institutions against political opponents. He demanded of the government to produce Sanaullah before a court of law.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz blamed Prime Minister Imran Khan for the arrest, accusing him of being "directly behind" the arrest.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto also took to Twitter to condemn the arrest of Sanaullah. He termed the arrest of the PML-N leader 'political victimisation'.
"Sanaullah has been a vociferous critic of the PPP in the past and is currently one of the most vocal critics of the regime."
He said that the arrest exposed the government's "weakness and desperation".