Dr Asim case: ATC issues NBWs for five accused political leaders

KARACHI: An Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) in Dr Asim case on Wednesday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) for the arrest of three Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders, one Pakistan Peoples Party leader and PASBAN Pakistan General Secretary.

NBWs were issued for three MQM leaders Waseem Akhter (nominated mayor of Karachi, Anees Qaimkhani and Saleem Shehzad, PPP leader Abdul Qadir Patel and PASBAN Pakistan General Secretary Usman Moazzam. However, MQM’s Rauf Siddiqui has already got a pre-arrest-bail.

Police produced Dr Asim in ATC today amid tight security, where the court showed its anger for not informing the court about the arrest of the above accused. The court also showed its displeasure over Investigation Officer (IO) DSP Altaf Hussain for not completing prosecution documentations and directed him to produce all documents in the next hearing. On the court’s direction, Dr Asim was provided record of witnesses’ statements.

The court directed the IO to arrest above accused and produce them before it on 8th January 2016. Earlier on 26th November, an FIR was registered against Dr Asim for providing medical facilities to terrorists and wanted criminals belonging to MQM and notorious Lyari gang war bandits in branches of Ziauddin Hospital at Clifton and North Nazimabad, which are owned by him.

According to the FIR, militants belonging to MQM and Lyari gang war, who sustained injuries in clashes with law enforcers, were provided with treatment on Dr Asim’s directions after MQM’s leaders Waseem Akhter, Anees Kaimkhani and Saleem Shehzad, and PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel asked him to do so. The FIR also said that Dr Asim made illegal appointments and granted contracts on bribes during his tenure as Petroleum Minister.

Former petroleum minister was arrested by the Rangers on 26th August 2015 when he was serving as chairman of Sindh’s Higher Education Commission. He remained under Rangers’ preventive detention for 90 days under Anti Terrorism Act, 1997.

It is pertinent to mention here that apart from terror charges, Dr Asim is also facing charges of money laundering, making illegal appointments and granting contracts on bribes while misusing his powers as Petroleum Minister. Meanwhile, he has also been in the custody of National Accountability Bureau and will be produced before accountability court on 5th January.