'Bail does not mean you have been acquitted,' Awan tells Rana Sanaullah

Updated 11 Jan 2020

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Government's chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan speaks at an event in Islamabad on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
Government's chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan speaks at an event in Islamabad on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

Government's chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday asked PML-N lawmaker Rana Sanaullah not to create the impression that he has been acquitted in a drug case against him, reminding that the trial in the case is yet to take place.

"The trial is yet to take place, and the witnesses have yet to present evidence before the court which will then issue its verdict," said Awan while speaking at an event in Islamabad.

She also asked Sanaullah to "stop using the Holy Quran for your publicity and to proclaim innocence" because this would malign the country's judicial system.

Former Punjab law minister Sanaullah, who has been facing a case of drug smuggling for the last six months and was recently released on bail, had rejected the charges against him in the National Assembly on Friday and demanded that the house either form a fact-finding judicial commission to probe his case or refer it to the relevant standing committee of the lower house so that he could plead his innocence.

The PML-N leader held a copy of the Holy Quran in his hand and swore on it that he was innocent and a fake case of drug smuggling had been made against him.

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Awan during her media talk alleged that the trend of "using religion for politics" started by Sanaullah negated Pakistan's judicial system, Constitution and law.

She said both parties in a case being heard by a court swear on the Quran to speak the truth, but the judgement eventually issued proves one of them to have lied. "There are tens of thousands of people who take a false oath on the Quran in courts on a daily basis," Awan added.

"Rana Sanaullah sahib, you have been granted bail; the court has not declared you to be innocent," she told the PML-N leader, alleging that he had been misleading the nation by claiming in his press conferences that he has been acquitted.

Awan said the government will continue its efforts to change the system which "protects the powerful" and accomplish its goal of "One, not two Pakistans".

Answering a question, Awan said the Punjab government is reviewing an application submitted by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif — who was allowed to travel abroad for medical treatment on bail — requesting an extension in his stay abroad. The provincial government, after evaluating his medical reports and considering all legal aspects, will present its opinion before the court "which will again decide the matter", the government spokesperson added.

"But you and I are both seeing the [blood] platelets are appearing to be stable in London's atmosphere," she said, questioning why the PML-N spokespersons have not been updating the nation on the PML-N supremo's health.