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25 July 2017 Last updated 18 minutes ago

Dr Asim Hussain submits copy of plane ticket to London to SHC

Dr Asim Hussain Dr Asim Hussain

Dr Asim Hus­sain, PPP’s Karachi president and a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, on Wednesday submitted to the Sindh High Court a plane ticket for London.

The court was hearing a plea for the removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The PPP leader wanted to depart for London on May 7, according to a copy of the ticket, for 'medical treatment recommended by a medical board', and was expected to return on May 21, Dr Asim's lawyer told the court.

However, the two-judge bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Junaid Ghaffar, set May 9 as the date for the next hearing of the case.

Earlier, on April 15, an antiterrorism court had allowed him to travel abroad after submitting a surety of Rs2 million. It also ruled that if Dr Hussain does not return, the state should take over his hospitals.

The petitioner had claimed that a medical board had recommended that he undergo spinal surgery abroad. The petition will be taken up by the court after a few days, said the counsel to the former minister.

The close aide of Asif Zardari was released from a sub-jail set up for him at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on March 31 after a little over 19 months in detention.

He was granted bail in two corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for allegedly causing huge losses to the national exchequer through corrupt practices.

Dr Hussain, who was serving as chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, was picked up by Rangers personnel on Aug 26, 2015 for his alleged involvement in offences falling within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

He remained in Rangers’ preventive detention for 90 days before being handed over to police in a case registered against him and others for allegedly treating and harbouring suspected terrorists, political militants and gangsters at his hospital on the request of Rauf Siddiqui, Wasim Akhtar and Saleem Shahzad of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); Pak Sarzameen Party president Anis Kaimkhani; PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel, and Pasban’s Usman Moazzam.

Later, NAB obtained his custody for interrogation and investigation into his alleged involvement in corruption. One of the two corruption cases pertained to causing loss of Rs462.5 billion by allegedly misusing his powers, while the other related to award of processing gas from five fields in lower Sindh without conducting an open auction, incurring a huge loss of Rs17.34bn to the national exchequer.