SHC to hear Dr Asim’s plea against ECL on 9th



By Nasir Mahmood

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court division bench comprising Justice Muhammad Junaid Ghaffar and Justice Muhammad Humayon Khan yesterday fixed 9th May as the next date of hearing for Dr Asim’s plea for removal of his name from ECL. Earlier, during the hearing Deputy Attorney General requested the Sindh High Court (SHC) for more time to submit a reply to a petition filed by Dr Asim Hussain’s lawyer to remove his name from the ECL. Dr Hussain’s lawyer Lateef Khosa presented his itinerary and hospital details to the SHC. He argued that the former petroleum minister was extremely ill and needed to travel abroad for treatment. Khosa informed the court that the former minister had booked a flight to London for May 7, and a return ticket on May 22. The petitioner’s lawyer stated that his client could be paralysed if not treated on time. It may be mentioned here that on April 15, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had allowed Dr Asim Hussain to leave Pakistan for two weeks to get medical treatment abroad. The court permitted the former minister to leave the country following the submission of Rs 2 million as surety and ordered him to return to the country within two weeks. The petition stated that Dr. Asim has been suffering from back problem and severe kidney pain and the medical board has advised treatment abroad, hence his name should be removed from the ECL and passport should be returned to him. Dr Asim Hussain was arrested by the Rangers on Aug 26, 2015, and released after 19 months of incarceration on March 31. Later, outside the court Lateef Khosa talking to media stated that in similar cases the other accused requested for removal of their names from Exit Control List (ECL) in trial courts and high court and government do not oppose any one of those pleas, their names were removed, passports were released and even they had returned after visiting abroad. But in this case Dr Asim’s appointment with foreign doctors has been third time cancelled just because of opposition by the federal government. In today’s hearing once again government prosecutor requested the court that interior ministry want to submit its reply in the case while earlier too they had got the time. In think this is delaying tactics being adopted by the federal government just to disturb Dr Asim Hussain while the courts have already accepted the bail and observed that he could be paralysed if due treatment is not provided in time. His life is in danger, hence in today’s hearing the bench has given short time to submit govt. reply and next date of hearing is fixed on May 9 for their verdict and there would be debate on this issue, Khosa added.