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Punjab Government Registers Terrorism Case against Rana Sanaullah

Interior minister charged with ‘threatening’ judiciary and government officials in public speeches from April 2021, January 2022

by Staff Report

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah. Photo courtesy PID

The Punjab government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) on Thursday registered a terrorism case against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for allegedly threatening the judiciary and government officials in speeches delivered on April 15, 2021 and Jan. 29, 2022.

According to the FIR, registered on the complaint of a citizen 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, the incumbent interior minister had threatened to stop the judiciary from doing its job as well as the children of Punjab police officials.

“The purpose of Sanaullah’s statements was to terrorize the judiciary, chief secretary, commissioner and people of the country,” reads the FIR. “His aim was to stop the officials from working and prevent them from fulfilling their lawful responsibilities,” it claims, alleging the speeches had “created fear” in the judiciary, bureaucracy, police, administration and the entire nation.

Urging authorities to probe Sanaullah over his comments, the FIR said he should be punished “to create an example for other citizens speaking against government officials.”

In a posting on Twitter, Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar—a PTI lawmaker—confirmed the development, saying the case had been registered at the Industrial Area police station in Gujrat. “The allegations are very serious and action will be taken according to the Constitution and law,” he added.

Similarly, PMLQ leader Moonis Elahi posted on Twitter implying that the case was a reaction to Sanaullah registering a “false case” against PTI’s Khan. “Now the people have made a true case against you,” he claimed, vowing to arrest Sanaullah “soon.”

The case is widely being seen as a case of tit-for-tat in response to the federal government registering a terrorism case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan over remarks allegedly threatening two senior police officers and a woman Additional District and Session judge. Elahi’s statement, in particular, makes it clear the case is more a case of retaliation than any genuine desire for “justice.”

Khan is currently facing a contempt of court case over his remarks about the woman judge and has been summoned to respond to the charges on Aug. 31.

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