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Dr Asim`s bail plea dismissed in militants` treatment case

By Ishaq Tanoli 2016-06-19
KARACHI: An antiterrorism court dismissed the bail application of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain on Saturday in a case relating to treatment of alleged terrorists at his hospital.

Dr Asim, a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, has been booked on the complaint of Rangers for allegedly treating and harbouring suspected terrorists, militants and gangsters at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of some Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Peoples Par ty leaders.

While pronouncing an order, reserved earlier after hearingarguments from both sides, the judge of the ATC-II turned down the bail application of the former minister, who held the portfolio of petroleum and natural resources.

On the previous hearing, the court alsoreservedits orderregarding confirmation or otherwise of pre-arrest bail applications of MQM`s mayoral nominee Waseem Akhtar, MPA Rauf Siddiqui, PPP`s Abdul Qadir Patel and Pak SarzameenParty`sAnisKalmkhani.

Thecourthadalsoreserveditsorder on the bail plea of Usman Moazam, who is in custody, of Pasban.

All five have also been nominated in the FIR against Dr Asim.

On Saturday, the court deferred its orders on all the bail pleas till July 19.

According to the prosecution, thefive suspects of four different parties had allegedly asked Dr Asim to provide medical treatment to `political militants`, Lyari gangsters as well as activists of banned militant outfits after they sustained wounds in shootouts with police and Rangers.

A case was registered at the North Nazimabad police station under Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform), 216 (harbouring offender who has escaped from custody whose apprehension has been ordered), 216-A (penalty for harbouring robbers or dacoits), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or banker, merchant or agent) and 34 (com-mon intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Sections 21-1 (abetment), 21-J (harbouring any person who committed an offence under this act) and 7 of the AntiTerrorism Act, 1997.

The investigation officer had released Dr Asim in December in the present case for what he called lack of sufficient evidence.

However, the administrative judge of the ATCs had thrown out the IO`s report and sent the case to the ATC-II for trial after tacking cognizance and observed that prima facie sufficient incriminating evidence/material available against him and others to connect them with the case.

Dr Asim is also facing two references before an accountability court. The first reference pertainsto an alleged corruption of over Rs460 billion through fraudulent allotment of land, encroachment uponstatelandforexpansionofhis hospital, money laundering, commission through fertilizer cartel for illegal curtailment of gas and fraud with public in the name of charity hospital.

In the second reference, in which some top officials of the Sul Southern Gas Company and Oil and Gas Development Company have also been named, Dr Asim and others have been chargesheeted for allegedly misusing their authority and fraudulently awarding contracts of five gas fields to privately managed gas processing company JJVL that had caused an alleged loss of Rs17.338bn.