A Rawalpindi court on Saturday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in a corruption case.
The order, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was passed by the court of Senior Civil Judge Ghulam Akbar. It states that Sanaullah was nominated in an first information report (FIR) and his arrest "is necessary in the case, so non-bailable arrest warrants of the accused may be issued".
"Records reflect that contention of the investigating officer is genuine, hence, the same is accepted in the interest of justice and non-bailable arrest warrants of the accused namely Rana Sanaullah is issued accordingly," the order stated.
The development was also confirmed by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) of Punjab.
"The warrants have been issued because Sanaullah failed to appear in the anti-corruption inquiry despite being summoned several times," a spokesperson of the department told Dawn.com.
He added that orders have been issued to arrest the minister and present him for the probe.
Elaborating on the charges against Sanaullah, the spokesperson said that the minister has been accused of purchasing two farmhouses at the Bismillah Housing Scheme in Kallar Kahar at a price lower than the scheduled rate.
"Both the plots were given to Sanaullah's wife as a bribe.
"Akhlaq Ahmed, the owner of the society, has also been booked for bribing Sanaullah with a plot to get his society registered," he said, adding that the opening ceremony of the project was attended by both the minister — who was in charge of the law ministry back then — and his wife.
'Not a political case'
At a press conference later today, Advisor to Punjab CM on Anti Corruption Musaddiq Abbasi said that the inauguration of the Bismillah Housing Scheme took place in 2017.
"Rana Sanaullah was given two plots in the scheme as a bribe. In 2019, an FIR was registered against him but he never showed up for investigation."
Going on, Abbasi said that in 2022, Sanaullah signed a contract in which he said he would begin construction on the plots worth Rs900,000. "The minister's crime has now been proven. This is not a political case.
"On October 6, the minister was summoned by ACE but he didn't show up. Now, we have sent a team to Islamabad and called the inspector-general [of the capital] as well," he stated, adding that a crime was a crime, no matter who committed it.
Earlier, PTI, on its official Twitter account, had said that a police party had departed to arrest Sanaullah and would soon reach the Kohsar police station.
"According to the rules, the process of arresting Rana Sanaullah will begin by informing the local police," it added.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, the Islamabad police said that if a team arrived at the Kohsar police station, case documents would be taken from it. "The anti-corruption establishment team will be requested to provide records for compliance so that legal action can be taken," it added.
'Warrants depict Imran's fear'
On the other hand, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Sanaullah's arrest warrants depicted "Imran Khan's fear".
"This is a conspiracy to spread chaos to divert attention from the corruption of the foreign-funded agent. He is playing with national security and fooling the people," she tweeted.
Aurangzeb added that preparations were underway to "attack the federal capital".