Dr Asim charged with terror-financing

Published: August 28, 2015
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PHOTO: EXPRESS

PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

What was earlier thought to be part of an anti-corruption drive turned out to be an anti-terror swoop when the Rangers levelled terror-financing charges against Dr Asim Hussain while presenting him before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday.

Officials of the paramilitary force informed the Karachi ATC-III that they had taken Dr Asim into preventive custody for 90 days on charges of embezzlement and using misappropriated funds in terrorist acts.

Dr Asim – who is currently serving as the chairman of the Higher Education Council (HEC) in Sindh and is a close confidante of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari – was picked up from his office a day earlier by law enforcers clad in plain clothes. The arrest, at the time, was thought to be part of an anti-graft campaign which has already seen several individuals associated with PPP arrested on corruption charges. However, no government agency claimed responsibility for the arrest all throughout Wednesday.

The protocol used by the Rangers while presenting Dr Asim before the ATC differed starkly from the one used for other anti-terror suspects in the past. The HEC Sindh chairman was brought to the court premises in a convoy of three white SUVs. He appeared composed and well dressed as he stepped out of the vehicle and was allowed to walk into the courtroom of his own volition; he was neither handcuffed or blindfolded, the normal practice for presenting terror suspects. Dr Asim was escorted by a major-ranked paramilitary official and a number of other Rangers’ personnel as he waited outside the chamber of ATC judge Saleem Raza Baloch, for his turn. His attorney, Barrister Abid Zuberi, had already arrived there for him.

The Rangers and their legal team took Dr Asim inside the judge’s office as the defence lawyers followed them. The hearing lasted for a couple of minutes, during which, according to an informed source, the law enforcers informed the judge that they were detaining Dr Asim for three-months on charges of terrorism.

A three-page set of documents, consisting of Dr Asim’s detention order signed by the brigadier-ranked sector commander of the Rangers’ Abdullah Shah Ghazi wing and jail warrants, was submitted to the court.

The detention order read that the suspect was apprehended from within the remits of Boat Basin police upon receiving ‘credible information’ of his involvement in offences pertaining to misappropriation of funds for enhancing and supporting terrorist activities, and misusing his authority for other criminal links. He was grilled under the Section 11EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act which allows armed forces and civil armed forces to detain a person suspected of involvement in terrorism for three months.

According to papers submitted to the court, Dr Asim will be placed inside the Mitha Ram Hostel which was recently converted into a Rangers sub-jail.

When they came out of the judge’s chamber, Dr Asim asked one of his associates about his family. They had left for the high court an hour before his arrival, he was told. The HEC Sindh chairman’s family moved an application in the court to obtain permission for a meeting with him.

Just moments later, Dr Asim was taken back in the same fashion as he was brought in.

Moving Asim to hospital: plea turned down

As Dr Asim was being presented by the Rangers before the ATC, the Sindh High Court (SHC) turned down his family’s request to move him to a hospital for medical treatment.

SHC Chief justice Faisal Arab, however, directed the director-general of Sindh Rangers to provide medical facilities to the HEC Sindh chairman. He converted the application, filed by Dr Asim’s wife Dr Zarina Hussain, into a petition and referred the matter to a division bench, headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah,.

Later, the applicant with her counsel Abid S Zuberi appeared before the court and said that Dr Asim was suffering from a serious ailment and required medical attention in hospital.

Sources said that SHC’s bench heard the matter in chamber.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • IBN E ASHFAQUE
    Aug 28, 2015 - 11:42AM

    Rangers are now judge jury and executioner in karachi. Only boots bullets and bayonets cannot solve all Pakistan’s problems. We have gone through this cycle so many times in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Aug 28, 2015 - 11:44AM

    Terrorism? Does it mean he’s going to face army courts now?Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Aug 28, 2015 - 12:22PM

    He was most probably involved in money laundering for his boss in dubai and for mafia chief who is already facing money laundering investigation in UK. Besides that he is involved in illegal encroachment of government lands, even parts of his hospitals & colleges are built on encroached land. Recently city administration was demolishing illegal slums that were built on the beds of storm water drain “lizard river”. He has also encroached parts of liyari river but coz he was associated with both parties plundering sindh so nobody dared to touch him. Recommend

  • Aug 28, 2015 - 12:44PM

    @IBN E ASHFAQUE:
    When this corrupt system can allow Zardari to become the President, this the only route to justice. Dont tell me this lot is not corrupt! Well done Rangers! Justice for the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aug 28, 2015 - 1:09PM

    @Imran Qadri:
    Good knowledge can you please tell us any of your party people involved in such crimes, I would be grateful if you tell us something about Rana Sanaullah.Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Aug 28, 2015 - 2:43PM

    @Asad
    I am a Karachiite, maybe someone from Faisal Abad can help you with that, but I have no infatuation with Rana either. I am sure he would join “your party” PTI like countless other corrupt people who have joined it and Imran used his magic wand to make them clean & sin free. Recommend

  • javaid
    Aug 28, 2015 - 2:55PM

    is there china cutting in punjab and Rana Sanaullah involved in it. Please do not detrack operation against these criminals.Recommend

  • Pro
    Aug 28, 2015 - 2:55PM

    “Dr Asim was suffering from a serious ailment and required medical attention in hospital” He was working fine in his office, and immediately upon arrest they realized he is suffering from a serious ailment, how funny!!Recommend

  • Kazim
    Aug 28, 2015 - 4:40PM

    Well if its the matter of terrorism then he should be sent to Military court. He is a funder. By the way 6 Sep is also near.Recommend

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