KARACHI: The administrative judge of an anti-terrorism court on Monday extended the police remand of Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister and close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, for seven days in a case relating to providing treatment and shelter to terrorists.
Earlier on Thursday, the administrative judge of an anti-terrorism court had remanded Dr Hussain in police custody for four days.
The prosecuting lawyer informed the court today that another seven days were required to complete the probe against Dr Asim Hussain, following which ATC’s administrative judge Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto granted the extension in police remand.
A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) representative had also requested the court for the custody of Dr Asim but since the PPP leader is already in police remand the request could not be entertained.
However, the court allowed NAB officials access to Dr Asim Hussain in police custody to complete their own investigations.
Earlier during the day, Dr Yousuf Sattar recorded his statement before a judicial magistrate where he identified Dr Asim Hussain as the person who had passed on the instructions to provide treatment, at discount rates, to terrorists backed by political parties and militant organisations at Ziauddin Hospital after they suffered injuries during shootouts with Rangers and police.
Dr Sattar is a close aide of Dr Hussain and looked after business of his healthcare services including North Nazimabad and Clifton campuses of Dr Ziauddin Hospital, Dr Ziauddin Cancer Hospital, Dr Ziauddin Hospital KDLB, Keamari Campus and Dr Ziauddin Memorial Hospital.
PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain was also present in the chambers of the civil court magistrate when Dr Sattar recorded his statement.
Read editorial: Rangers’ mandate
Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention on November 25, Rangers had handed Dr Asim over to police on Wednesday night after lodging a case against him for allegedly treating and harbouring terrorists at North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the PPP.
The anti-terrorism court on Thursday had remanded Dr Hussain in police custody for four days.
During the court proceedings, a conflict arose between the Sindh prosecutor general and the Rangers prosecutor over the period of remand of Dr Asim, Dawn newspaper reported.
The Rangers prosecutor opposed the four-day detention, saying Rangers had asked for a 14-day detention in the remand paper submitted in the court, but the Sindh PG had crossed it out and asked for a four-day detention instead.
Also read: Dr Asim’s mother moves SHC for fair probe
Rangers picked up Dr Asim Hussain, the incumbent chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission with the status of a provincial minister, on Aug 26 from his office in Clifton. The following day Rangers informed an anti-terrorism court that he was placed under a three-month preventive detention for inquiry as per Section 11-EEEE of ATA since they had credible information about his involvement in using embezzled funds to finance terrorism.