Pakistan: Rawalpindi court issues non-bailable arrest warrant for (Interior Minister) Rana Sanaullah


RAWALPINDI: A Rawalpindi court on Saturday issued non-bailable arrest warrant for Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Saturday for failing to appear before the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) in a corruption case.

The order was passed by Senior Civil Judge Ghulam Akbar. It stated that the minister was nominated in a first informant report (FIR) and that his arrest was “necessary for the case, so [a] non-bailable warrant of arrest of the accused may be issued”.

“Records reflect that contention of the investigating office 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 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the coalition ruling party in Punjab, in a tweet stated that an ACE team was allegedly on its way to arrest the home minister and would soon arrive at the Kohsar police station in Islamabad.

It added that the warrants were issued by the special judicial magistrate.

The PTI furthered that according to the rules, the process of arresting Sanaullah would begin by informing the local police.

Shortly after the PTI’s tweets, a four-person anti-corruption team reached the Kohsar police station and asked the station house officer (SHO) for a police force to assist in the arrest.

A spokesperson for the Anti-Corruption Establishment, Punjab confirmed the issuance of the warrants, adding that the warrants were issued because the interior minister failed to appear for an anti-corruption inquiry despite being summoned several times. The case pertained to the minister’s involvement in a bribery case in 2019.

The spokesperson said that the orders had been issued to arrest the minister and present him for investigation.

‘Wrong’ police station

Shortly after the ACE team reached Kohsar, it was reported that the team had to leave the police station, and was now headed towards the Secretariat Police Station.

The officials at Kohsar claimed that the anti-corruption officials had reached the “wrong” police station.

According to sources, the SHO Kohsar refused to comply with the arrest warrant because the court-issued warrant had the interior minister’s Faisalabad address.

He maintained that Sanaullah did not reside within the limits of the Kohsar police station, neither were any of his offices within the jurisdiction.

The arrival and departure of the anti-corruption team was also said to not be noted in the Kohsar police station’s records. They furthered that the arrest warrant was incomplete, and had an address for a residential area in Faisalabad.

‘Police team not cooperating’

Following the development at the Kohsar Police Station, the ACE team also had to leave the Secretariat Police Station after the police officials there also “failed to cooperate”.

The ACE officials said that the interior minister’s name was nominated in an FIR, adding that they followed the procedure properly. The officials said that the ACE team got permission from the court to arrest Rana Sanaullah.

As per the anti-corruption officials, they were visiting police stations repeatedly for the completion of the process, but the police was not cooperating with them.

They also complained of not being allowed to record their entry and exit from a police station in the diary. The procedure was followed properly, they claimed, adding that the team came to the police station as per the court’s orders.

They said the anti-corruption team will be informing the court about today’s development, and that the court will tell if this would fall under contempt, or whether some other process will be followed.

PML-N leader denounces arrest warrant

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb denounced the issuance of arrest warrant against Sanaullah, claiming that the warrant was issued because PTI chief Imran Khan was “frightened” by him.

“There is a conspiracy to spread corruption and chaos in order to divert attention from the corruption of the lying foreign agent who played with national security and fooled the people,” she said referring to the PTI chief.

Marriyum alleged that preparations were being made to attack the federation on the ex-premier’s