Dr Asim accused of supporting terrorist activities: Rangers get 90-day remand

By Bilal Tahir

KARACHI:An Anti-Terrorist Court (ATC) in Karachi on Thursday remanded former federal petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain to Rangers’ custody for 90 days. PPP’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s close aide Dr Asim Hussain was picked up by law enforcement agencies at Clifton on Wednesday. Rangers on Thursday produced Dr Asim before an ATC and sought a 90-day remand from the court for his interrogation.

According to the counsel for Rangers, Dr Asim Hussain has been accused of supporting terrorist activities, misappropriation of government funds, etc. The Rangers’ counsel pleaded that Dr Asim Hussain had been detained in exercise of power conferred by notification No SO( LE-1)/HD/6-68/2015 dated 12 August 2015, upon receiving credible information about his involvement in offences relating to misappropriation of funds for enhancing/supporting terrorist activities and maintaining criminal links under the ATC Act 1997. Dr Asim, who is serving as the Chairman Sindh Higher Education Commission, was arrested at HEC’s office in Clifton where he was chairing a commission’s meeting. Officials also took possession of some documents that they purportedly found at his office.

He was arrested under the Pakistan Protection Ordinance 2014. According to court orders, Dr Asim Hussain would be kept in Sub Jail Mitha Ram Hostel in Karachi for three months. According to a copy of warrants: “Dr Asim Hussain, the son of Dr Tajamul Hussain, has been ordered to be put under preventive detention in exercise of powers under section 11EEEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act -1997 for the period of three months as per amendment on October 14, 2013”.

Meanwhile, the mother of Dr Asim Hussain, Dr Ejaz Fatima, has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court on Thursday challenging the arrest of her son. The petition filed through senior counsel Abid Zuberi has made federal and Sindh governments, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) respondents in the case.

The court has been urged to order the immediate release of Dr Asim Hussain as he not only holds no criminal record against him but is also a former federal minister and an esteemed politician. It has been further stated that Dr Asim would be willing to cooperate in investigation if any accusation is levelled against him. Dr Zareen Hussain, the wife of Dr Asim, has also written a letter to the Inspector General (IG) Sindh Police seeking details of her husband’s whereabouts as well as his health condition. She, through her letter, said that her husband is a chronic patient of diabetes and hypertension and requires constant medical care. His family, she said, has every right to be informed about his whereabouts as well as his condition.

Source: Business Recorder