ATC reserves verdict in Dr Asim’s bail plea

By Nasir Mahmood

KARACHI: “I am the maternal grandson of late Dr Ziauddin but the government’s JIT (Joint Interrogation Team) in its report declared me as the son- in-law of Dr Ziauddin, which is the biggest lie. How such report could be relied upon?” Dr Asim said in his statement before the Anti-Terrorism Court on Saturday. The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC)-II reserved the order on aplications filed by Dr Asim Hussain and other accused until June 18.
Dr Hussain and other accused were earlier produced amid tight security in the ATC which heard the case. The accused rejected allegations leveled against them under which they are facing court trial after spending months in detention. At the outset of the hearing, Dr Asim’s attorney, Amir Raza Naqvi, argued that his client was being victimised in the captivity of law enforcers. He said that Dr Asim had been behind the bars since more than nine months and his physical and mental conditions were worsening day by day.
Dr Asim is facing trial in a case pertaining to charges of harboring criminals and terrorists by financing and providing medical assistance at the hospitals owned by him. The counsel for Dr Asim Hussain said there was not even a single doctor who recorded his statement about provision of medical treatment to terrorists at Hussain’s hospital.
Dr Asim denying the allegations said his wife was dying in London while he was imprisoned here. All the evidence and documents presented during the case have several contradictions.
Naqvi said that the documents produced as evidence were either tampered with or contained false information.
“The entire JIT was based on cooked-up charges, besides no evidence was provided to support the FIR,” the lawyer added.
The counsel for Rangers, Sajid Mahboob Shaikh said that Dr Asim Hussain provided medical treatment to several “terrorists”
The paramilitary lawyers apprised the ATC that the present investigating Officer (IO) DSP Altaf is spoiling the case while the previous investigation officer had performed diligently and honestly but he was removed on political grounds.
The Rangers’ lawyer said the FIR was registered against Dr Asim after the JIT report. He said Dr Asim do not have any serious illness and all the facilities were being provided to him. However, he is mentally disturbed since 1989. Top politicians are in contact with Dr Asim, and the Sindh CM has met him twice in the hospital, the lawyer claimed. During this, Dr Asim kept terming the Rangers lawyers ‘liar, liar’.
Mayor designate Wasim Akhtar, former Muttahida Qaumi Movement minister Rauf Siddiqui, Qadir Patel of Pakistan People’s Party and Anis Kaimkhani of Pak Sarzameen Party are on bail. They have been nominated in the case for allegedly asking Dr Asim favours for the suspects who were being treated there. The prosecution said that the accused politicians referred these alleged militants to the hospitals and also paid their bills.
Wasim Akhtar’s lawyer said that his client never made any phone call for anyone’s operation. Meanwhile, Qadir Patel, Wasim Akhtar, Rauf Siddique, and Anis Kaimkhani were granted extension in bail by the ATC. While talking to media after the hearing, Qadir Patel said that all allegations against him were baseless and had no substance.