Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday alleged that the informant who gave the tip-off about the reported presence of 15 kilogrammes of narcotics in PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah Khan's car was Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.
The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had on Monday arrested Sanaullah, the PML-N Punjab president, in what is said to be a narcotics case involving proscribed outfits.
Talking to reporters in Lahore after a party meeting today, Shehbaz alleged that the premier had Sanaullah arrested out of "frustration" and in an attempt to divert the nation's attention away from the "anti-poor" budget presented by the PTI government last month
"Rana Sanaullah's arrest is the worst oppression, [use of] force, and injustice against opposition members by Imran Khan Niazi," the PML-N president alleged.
He said Sanaullah had worked with him as the law minister in Punjab for 10 years and had "countless raids" conducted on sites where drugs were sold and consumed. "And today Imran Khan has resorted to the worst petty tactics and levelled the false allegation against him to declare him a heroin peddler," he added.
Shehbaz questioned who had provided the tip-off that 15kg of drugs were present in Sanaullah's car, before answering himself: "Imran Khan Niazi was the informant himself."
He alleged that Prime Minister Imran was taking such steps against the PML-N because "we are standing with the farmer, the poor and against poverty and unemployment."
He said if the premier used the same "tactics" to successfully end poverty and inflation, the entire PML-N would be ready to go to jail. "It is a big misunderstanding if you think you can suppress our voices through the [arrest]," he added.
Answering a question regarding the possibility of formation of a forward bloc within the PML-N, Shehbaz said he had issued orders to seek an explanation from PML-N MPAs who recently met Prime Minister Imran at his residence. The lawmakers will also be asked to appear before a committee and explain why they had held the meeting with the premier, he added.
'No drugs recovered'
Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi went one step further and termed Sanaullah's arrest an incident of "state terrorism".
Recounting details of the episode, he said Sanaullah's vehicle was intercepted by ANF officials after he crossed the toll plaza of the Motorway on Monday afternoon. After a heated exchange, two ANF personnel got into the car and took Sanaullah to a police station.
"No recovery [of drugs] took place during this period and nothing was told," Abbasi claimed. He said Sanaullah was informed at night that drugs were recovered from him the quantity of which he said was first stated to be 21kgs and later as 15kgs.
The former premier also said it was "illogical" to believe drugs were being smuggled from Faisalabad to Lahore.
"Narcotics cases were not registered against politicians even during the worst days of dictatorship," Abbasi said. "This extraordinary custom has been seen in this government's term."