Dr Asim petitions Supreme Court for return of passport


ISLAMABAD: Two weeks after the Sindh High Court (SHC) rejected his plea, Dr Asim Hussain has knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court to strike his name off the Exit Control List (ECL).

In a petition submitted in the apex court on Monday, Dr Asim, the Karachi Division’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) president and close aide of former President Asif Ali Zardari, contended that he needs immediate medical treatment abroad.

In the petition, filed by PPP’s Sardar Latif Khosa, it is stated that anything can happen in case Dr Asim is not allowed to travel abroad. There should be no restriction on Dr Asim’s movement, and his passport should be returned to him, reads the petition. The petition called for the relevant authority to return Dr Asim’s passport to him.

On June 5, the SHC ruled to continue the inclusion of Dr Asim’s name in the ECL. Dr Asim — out on bail in cases of corruption and terrorism — had requested the court to allow him to travel out of the country for back surgery.

In the SHC, the federal government had opposed the removal of Dr Asim’s name from the no-fly list, informing the two-judge bench that the accused has been put on the ECL on the order of the court as well as on recommendations of the National Accountability Bureau.

Dr Asim — a former federal minister — faces trial in two cases of alleged corruption of over Rs450 billion and another of allegedly facilitating and treating terrorists at his medical facility — Dr Ziauddin Hospital.

He was released from the sub-jail at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi on March 31 this year after obtaining bail in all the cases lodged against him. He was initially arrested by the Rangers in August 2015 and then transferred into police custody.