An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujranwala on Tuesday cancelled Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah’s non-bailable arrest warrants in a terrorism case lodged against him at Gujrat’s Industrial Area police station in 2022.
The Gujrat police had registered a terrorism case against Sanaullah on Aug 25, 2022, on the complaint of a local leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Shaikh Shahkaz Aslam, for allegedly threatening the judiciary and government officials in his speeches on April 15, 2021, and Jan 29, 2022.
The police had quashed the case and submitted a report to the court which was later annulled by the ATC, followed by the issuance of arrest warrants, which were subsequently turned into non-bailable arrest warrants when the minister failed to show up on the March 7 hearing.
Accountability Judge Rana Zahid presided over the hearing today in which the interior minister and his legal team appeared as well.
“I could not come to the court on the previous hearing due to government-related engagement,” Sanaullah said.
The judge subsequently cancelled the interior minister’s non-bailable arrest warrants and ordered him to furnish a surety bond of Rs500,000. The hearing was adjourned to April 28.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, the interior minister said: “We respect the courts. This is a baseless case which was filed in Parvez Elahi’s time [as the chief minister].”
Sanaullah said the police had quashed the case and he had only appeared in court out of respect for it.
He also criticised PTI Chairman Imran Khan at length and denied issuing a “murder threat” against the former, saying that he was only talking about “political existence”.
The interior minister also addressed the issue of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections, saying they should take place at the same time as the general elections and polls for other assemblies otherwise they would bring “anarchy”.
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