Dr Asim sent to jail on judicial remand

KARACHI: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Tuesday sent Dr Asim Hussain, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former petroleum minister, to jail on judicial remand over charges of providing treatment to terrorists at his hospital branches in Karachi.

Dr Asim was brought to ATC-II under tight security after the administrative judge of ATC, Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, rejected police’s request to release the suspect on account of non-availability of evidences. While sending Dr Asim to jail, the court also directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to produce him before accountability court on Wednesday in corruption charges.

Earlier on Monday, ATC’s administrative judge rejected the report of Investigation Officer which stated that there were no evidences found against Dr Asim. The IO of the case, DSP Altaf Husain, had submitted a report under section 497 (2) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) requesting the court to release Dr Asim.

Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto observed, ”In the prima facie, there is sufficient evidences against Dr Asim and other accused to connect in this case”.

The former Petroleum minister is facing charges of providing medical facilities to terrorists and wanted criminals belonging to a political party and notorious Lyari gang war bandits in two branches of Ziauddin Hospital, owned by him. The FIR said that Dr Asim made illegal appointments and granted contracts on bribes during his tenure as Petroleum Minister.

Dr Asim was arrested by the Rangers on 26th August 2015 when he was serving as chairman of Sindh’s Higher Education Commission. He remained in Rangers’ detention for 90 days under section 11 EEEE Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 over his alleged involvement in corruption and offences related to terrorism.