Asim asks Bilawal to relieve him of duties as Karachi chief

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Former Petroleum Minister and accused in case of billions of corruption, Dr Asim Hussain, has requested Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to relieve him of duties as party’s Karachi Chief, it emerged on Friday.

Hussain was severely reprimanded by Faryal Talpur, aunt of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the party’s central leader after the Karachi chief met with Farooq Sattar after his presser in which he alleged elements of establishment to force him to make alliance with Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP).

“Asim Hussain has met Farooq Sattar in personal capacity,” Ms. Talpur clarified after the former’s meeting with MQM-P chief.

Sources say Asim Hussain was not happy with the way he was treated after meeting with Sattar and was mulling to resign. “But some close friends suggested him to choose a respectable way of stepping down by excusing under the guise of illness,” an insider told The Frontier Post.

Pakistan People’s Party Leader, Dr Asim Hussain during a meeting with the top leadership of PPP informed that he is going abroad for medical treatment, confirmed a press release issued here on Friday evening.

According to spokesman, Dr Asim Hussain, told the PPP leadership that due to incessant pain in his back-bone, an immediate surgery is scheduled to take place in near future on account of which he is going abroad for treatment. Moreover, he further said that until then he could not continue working as President PPP, Karachi Division.

Dr Asim further requested Chairman, Pakistan People’s Party, to relieve him with the existing responsibility as President PPP, Karachi Division from his shoulders at the instant moment, whereas he will continue working as a PPP political worker in future.

Earlier in August Asim Husain said, “The Pakistan Army has done commendable job in rest of the country whereas the paramilitary Rangers have done great job in Karachi, which should be appreciated,” Dr Asim Hussain said while talking to media persons after he appeared in the accountability court.

On Saturday, the Pakistan Rangers Sindh had rubbished a claim by Dr Asim Hussain that he was heavily drugged by interrogators for recording confessional statement.

“Dr Asim has alleged of being drugged by the investigation team before recording his statement, which is contrary to the fact,” a Rangers’ spokesman said, adding that the former PPP minister was neither tortured nor compelled to give any statement.

“The allegations leveled by Dr Asim Hussain are contrary to the fact and he never alleged during confinement, hearing or after being released on bail,” the statement reads.

Close aide of former President Asif Ali Zardari and President of the Pakistan Peoples Party had claimed in a TV show a day earlier he did not remember what he had said in the confessional video because he had been drugged and confined to a basement.

He claimed that he also did not know what drug he had been administered by Rangers personnel. “I don’t remember because I think I was heavily drugged into it,” he said. In the footage telecast by TV channels last year in June, Dr Asim was seen sitting on a chair and maligning the party leadership. He also leveled serious allegations against Zardari’s foster brother Owais Muzaffar alias Tappi.

The Rangers recalled that Dr Asim is currently released on bail and cases registered against him are being heard in courts. Dr Asim was released from a sub-jail set up for him at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on March 31 after a little over 19 months in detention.

He was granted bail in two corruption references filed by NAB for allegedly causing huge losses to the national exchequer through corrupt practices.

Dr Asim, who was serving as chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, was picked up by Rangers personnel on Aug 26, 2015, for his alleged involvement in offences falling within the ambit of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

He remained in Rangers’ preventive detention for 90 days before being handed over to police in a case registered against him and others for allegedly treating and harboring suspected terrorists, political militants and gangsters at his hospital on the request of Rauf Siddiqui, Wasim Akhtar and Saleem Shahzad of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); Pak Sarzameen Party president Anis Kaimkhani; PPP’s Abdul Qadir Patel, and Pasban’s Usman Moazzam.