KARACHI: The Administrative Judge of Anti-Terrorism Courts Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto on Thursday remanded PPP leader and close Zardari aide Dr Asim Hussain in four-day custody of the Sindh Police in a case pertaining to treatment and sheltering of terrorists.
During the hearing of arguments, a conflict arose between the Sindh Prosecutor General (PG) Shahadat Awan and the Rangers Sindh prosecutor.
The Rangers prosecutor opposed the four-day detention, saying Rangers had asked for a 14-day detention in the remand paper submitted in court, but the Sindh PG had crossed it out and asked for a four-day detention instead.
The Rangers prosecutor argued that since Rangers was the petitioner in the case, the court should grant 14-day remand. But after hearing the arguments, Justice Phulpoto decided to grant police four-day custody of the PPP leader.
Dr Asim was first detained by plain clothes personnel on August 26 this year, following which he was sent on a a 90-day remand in Rangers custody, which expired on Wednesday.
The PPP leader was transported to court in an armoured personnel carrier today. He was without handcuffs and was presented in court by the police.
The police said they wanted to get custody of Dr Asim in order to conduct an investigation and collect evidence against him. The police added that they also wanted to register him at the criminal record office.
Dr Asim’s defence lawyer vehemently opposed the four-day remand saying his client had been in Rangers custody for over 90 days, and that there was no justification for detaining his client further.
He said the charges outlined in the First-Information Report (FIR), which quoted the Joint Investigation Team, had no weight in the eyes of the law.
The FIR filed against the PPP leader accuses him of using Dr Ziauddin Hospital to treat members of banned outfits, militants, members of militant wings of political parties and those injured in encounters with security agencies.
The FIR says Hussain treated the above-mentioned individuals on the request of their leaders, and at discounted rates.
Dr Asim Hussain was elected Senator from Sindh on a PPP ticket in 2009. He served as the minister of petroleum and natural resources and then the prime minister’s adviser with the same portfolio until 2012.
After the 2013 general elections, the PPP government in Sindh made him chairman of the provincial HEC.
He is also believed to be close to the top leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
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