KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Dr Asim Hussain filed on Friday a complaint against unidentified persons, saying his life is in danger.
An FIR No 199/17 under Section 506-B/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was registered at the Boat Basin police station on behalf of Dr Asim Hussain against unidentified persons. Boat Basin DSP Fakharul Islam confirmed the registration of the FIR, saying the case was registered on behalf of Dr Asim. “Yes, we have registered a case against unidentified persons,” confirmed DSP Islam. “Now, we are also trying to get evidences and trace the suspects.”
Dr Asim, in his statement recorded before the police, said he was in his car near Boat Basin Chowrangi on April 20 when suspects in a white double-cabin car approached his car from the side, followed by another black car with four people in it. According to him, they threatened him by displaying weapons. He said the car’s number plates were not visible.
“A double-cabin vehicle with tinted glass approached me and one of the suspects attempted to target me with a pistol but I asked my driver to speed up,” he said in the statement. “Later, my squad also reached and these people managed to flee towards Punjab Chowrangi.”
Dr Asim also demanded that the police increase his security as his life is under threat. “These people can kidnap [me],” he said. “I could not properly read the number plates of [the] vehicle. I’m sure that some elements want to kidnap and kill me.” He further urged upon the government to take action and provide him full security.
The arrest of Dr Asim – a petroleum minister in the previous PPP-led government and a close friend of former president Asif Ali Zardari – was the first detention of a major PPP figure in an ongoing military-driven crackdown in the port city of Karachi that began in August 2015. He was arrested by Rangers, who later handed his custody over to the police after completion of 90-day protective custody.
A case was also registered against Dr Asim by Rangers at the North Nazimabad police for facilitating terrorism and terror financing. He was also facing corruption charges by the National Accountability of Bureau (NAB).
At least four prominent political leaders of different political parties were also booked in the same terrorism facilitation FIR on the basis of revelations by Dr Asim during investigations. In July last year, an anti-terrorism court sent Muttahida Qaumi Movement Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar and MPA Rauf Siddiqui and Pak Sarzameen Party President Anis Kaimkhani to prison after rejecting their bail pleas in a case relating to treatment of alleged terrorists at the Dr Asim’s hospitals. A fourth suspect in the case, Abdul Qadir Patel of the PPP, escaped after his bail was dismissed. He later surrendered himself before the police. However, all the four leaders were later released from jail on bails. The North Nazimabad police registered a case against Dr Asim after the end of the 90-day physical remand in Rangers custody on charges of terror financing.
On March 29 this year, Dr Asim was granted bail in two multi-billion-rupee corruption references filed against him by the country’s top graft buster.
A Sindh High Court (SHC) bench granted bail to Dr Asim on medical grounds in the two cases that involve alleged corruption of Rs462 billion. He was ordered to deposit Rs2.5 million as surety in each case along with his original Pakistani and Canadian passports with the court official.
The SHC accepted the bail plea based on the opinion of the court’s referee judge – Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar – after a two-judge bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Farooq Shah and Muhammad Karim Khan Agha, handed down a split verdict on February 2.