Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Sunday denied that he was friends with an accused cocaine dealer.
According to sources from social media, the Anti-NarcoticsForce (ANF) arrested a man from a posh area of Islamabad and recovered a large quantity of cocaine.
There were rumors spreading on social media that the man supplied the cocaine to parties in the capital and was a close friend of Interior Minister Shehrayar Afridi.
Aphotograph went viral on social media showing the accused man standing beside Mr. Afridi.
Mr. Afridi stated in a video that “criminal-minded people” had uploaded photos with him online and were “giving the impression that they are my friends.”
He further said that as a political worker he cannot stop anyone from taking photos beside him.
He said he had launched an anti-drugs campaign with the support of the prime minister.
“I am raising awareness against drugs on roads, on buses and in mosques. I have nothing to do with those who are seen in the pictures with me. I assume that the person took the pictures during the anti-drugs campaign. My and Imran Khan’s vision is to make the country drug-free,” he said.
As reported by DAWN, ANF Director Headquarters Riaz Soomro said that “We are still inthe process of investigation, and we are not in a position to confirm or denywhether he had a link to the minister.” It would be “inappropriate” at this stage to link the suspect to the minister.
This is not the first time that Mr. Afridi was linked to someone possessing drugs.
After meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Interior held on Jan 7th 2019, the Interior minister said that action would be taken against anyone who is caught with drugs regardless of their kinship.
Mr. Afridi was asked in a press conference if he was related to Talal Nadir Afridi, who was arrested on Dec 11 for possession of drugs in Attock. He said “Whoever he is, action will be taken against him in accordance with the law.”
Nadir Afridi was arrested along with three others for possession of 507 grams of hashish.
PML-N lawmaker Hina Pervaiz Butt had submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly after the incident to condemn the recovery of drugs from the state minister’s relative.
In a statement, the Islamabad police claimed that 12 people were arrested for possession of liquor and drugs.
The Margalla police arrested someone involved insupply of drugs to educational institutions and recovered one kilogram of hashish from him while the Secretariat police arrested two people and recovered 1.6 kghashish from them.
The Banigala police recovered 10 litres of liquor from an individual, and Noon police recovered 510 grams of hashish from two people.
Khanna, Sihala, Koral and Golra police also recovered drugs and liquor from various suspects.