KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Zardari’s close confidante Dr Asim Hussain was handed over to Rangers on Thursday.
Dr Hussain was presented before an anti-terrorism court in Karachi, a day after he was picked up by law-enforcers in civvies in what appears to be a major graft-busting move.
According to a source privy to the development, the former minister will be interrogated by a JIT for his alleged involvement during his detention.
After informing the court, the paramilitary force took Dr Hussain into preventive detention for 90 days.
He will be interrogated under Section 11EEEE of ATA – special powers the armed force enjoys following the enactment of Pakistan Protection Act.
The law enforcers apprehended the chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Sindh chapter, and former federal minister, in connection with his alleged involvement in corruption cases. Reports suggest he was involved in money laundering, land allotment scams and corruption in LNG and CNG deals.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) condemned the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain – a petroleum minister in the past PPP-led government and close friend of former President Asif Ali Zardari – as politically motivated.
He belongs to the influential family of Dr Ziauddin Ahmed, a key political figure in Pakistan’s independence movement. Besides being the HEC Sindh chairman, Dr Asim is also the chairman of the Ziauddin Group of Hospitals in Karachi. He has also served as the petroleum minister under the PPP government in 2008.
Sources close to Dr Hussain said he had recently returned to Pakistan after spending two and a half months in London and Dubai.
Sources told Daily Express that HEC Sindh Secretary Dr Mansoor Abbas has moved some important files and records to a safe place. According to them, there is a strong possibility that Dr Mansoor and his associates will be taken into custody for questioning.
Arrest challenged in SHC
Dr Hussain’s arrest was challenged was challenged in the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday as his mother submitted a petition claiming that men in civvies took away the former minister from his Clifton office to an undisclosed location, sources said.
The petition maintains that the prominent opposition politician is being kept under illegal detention, the source added.
According to reports, the former petroleum minister is said to be suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes and therefore needs medical care.
Meanwhile, Dr Zareen Hussain, wife of Dr Hussain, has written a letter to IG Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali requesting him inform her of the whereabouts of her husband.
She has also written to DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, requesting to let Dr Hussain meet his family.