Dr Asim Hussain in NAB custody now

  • Former petroleum minister to be produced before accountability court today

Former petroleum minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Dr Asim Hussain, who was taken into custody by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) upon his release from the Gulberg police station on Thursday, will be produced before a NAB court today (Friday).

According to sources, the NAB will seek physical remand of Dr Hussain in three corruption cases: registration of 19 private medical colleges in violation of law and financial corruption in Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) funds, his alleged role in the SSGC extraordinary favours to K-Electric and collection of kickbacks of billion of rupees from oil marketing companies and establishment of two hospitals on land occupied illegally.

The deputy inspector general (DIG) for Karachi West said that Dr Hussain was released under the Section 497 after which the NAB took him into custody. He said the police concluded their investigation and could not find any solid evidence to frame Dr Hussain.

Earlier on Monday, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) extended Dr Hussain’s remand for five more days after he alleged that he was being tortured in custody (by the paramilitary Rangers and police).

“My life is in danger. They (Rangers and police) torture me, beat me up. I am being tortured so I repeat what they want me to say like a parrot,” Dr Hussain said before the court after the judge, Naimatullah Phulpoto, turned down his request to privately speak to him in his chambers and ordered him to say what he had to in the courtroom before the law enforcers.

Dr Hussain said he was being wrongly accused of facilitating terrorists and that he was innocent. He said it was a ‘battle of egos’ and ‘somebody else’s dispute’ but that he was being wrongly implicated. “If all evidence is with the Rangers, then why am I in custody,” he questioned.

“If they want to kill me they should do so in an encounter. But do not torture me like this. I am a heart patient. If I die, who will be responsible?”

Denying all charges, Dr Hussain claimed that a false FIR had been lodged and a serious case was being built against him on the statement of one medical superintendent at his hospital. He also alleged that the police was taking directions from “somewhere else”.

A joint interrogation team had been formed after Dr Hussain’s arrest under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

The Sindh Rangers had lodged a case against Dr Hussain with the North Nazimabad police station last month, soon after the expiry of the 90-day remand that the paramilitary force had obtained from the anti-terrorism court for investigation after his arrest in August.

Hussain was serving as the chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission when he was arrested.