PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain was released from prison after 19 months on Friday after the Sindh High Court issued a release order for the former minister.

The release order was issued after Dr Asim submitted his Pakistani and Canadian passports before the court ─ the final condition pending his release.

Armoured vehicles transported Dr Asim from Jinnah Hospital to Ziauddin Hospital where he is the deputy managing director. The former minister has been undergoing treatment for cardiovascular ailment.

A day earlier, the Sindh High Court had rejected an application filed by the PPP leader seeking exemption from the court's decision asking him to submit his Pakistani and Canadian passports before Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar, the referee judge.

Earlier this week, an anti-terrorism court had also issued a release order for Dr Asim in a case relating to the alleged treatment of terrorists at his hospital.

Dr Asim was booked on the complaint of Rangers for allegedly treating and harbouring suspected terrorists, militants and gangsters at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of some MQM and PPP leaders.

The former minister was also indicted by an accountability court on May 6, 2016, after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against Dr Hussain and others for the alleged corruption of over Rs460 billion.

NAB's reference claimed that along with his accomplices, the Chairman of the Ziauddin Group of Hospitals had misused his authority for getting plots allotted fraudulently and encroaching upon state land for expansion of Dr Ziauddin Hospital, money laundering and receiving commission through the fertiliser cartel for the illegal curtailment of gas supply for exploitative price hike.

The former federal minister has been behind bars since 2015 after he was charged with allegedly treating and harbouring suspected terrorists, “political” militants and gangsters at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of some politicians.

These politicians include Karachi mayor Waseem Akhtar, Pak Sarzameen Party president Anis Kaimkhani, Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui, PPP leader Abdul Qadir Patel and Pasban leader Usman Moazzam.

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