LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court of Gujranwala on Tuesday withdrew non-bailable arrest warrants for Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and heard arguments of his counsel on his acquittal application in a case of hurling threats at judges and bureaucrats.
Gujrat Police had registered a case against Rana Sanaullah in August, 2022 for threatening the judiciary and government officials in his speeches on April 15, 2021 and January 29, 2022.
The case was registered on the complaint of a citizen, Sheikh Shekaz Aslam, under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism), and sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Rana Sanaullah appeared before the court with his counsel Farhad Ali Shah, who argued that the FIR registered against his client was baseless and beyond facts. He asked the court to acquit the minister in the case.
The court heard the arguments and adjourned the hearing till April 28 for the arguments of the complainant’s counsel.
Talking to the media outside the court, the interior minister held the previous government of Imran Khan responsible for the current security crisis in the country. He blamed the PTI for allowing terrorists to enter the country.
He said the PTI chairman had not been put on trial yet and had been awarded bail by the courts. However, he believed that the former premier should and would be held accountable for his actions.
The minister asserted that Imran Khan’s politics and democracy could not coexist in the country. He also stated that holding separate elections of the assemblies would lead to anarchy in the country, and thus, the elections should be held across the country on Oct 8.
Dispelling an impression that he hurled a life threat at Imran Khan, Sanaullah denied threatening anyone and clarified that he was referring to eliminating Imran Khan’s “political existence”.
The minister denied asking anyone to accompany him come to the court and said he came with his lawyers only.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2023
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