Pakistan’s Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the removal of PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), permitting him to travel abroad for a month for medical treatment.
A three-member bench headed by Justice Dost Muhammad Khan heard Dr Asim’s counsel Barrister Latif Khosa and ordered the Federal Investigation Agency and the Interior Ministry etc to remove Dr Asim’s name from the ECL against a Rs 6 million bail bond and that the trial would continue in Dr Asim’s absence. But, the SC said, his name should be put back on the list once he returns to Pakistan.
The bench however, wondered why those accused of corrupt practices tend to suddenly fall sick. Dr Asim is a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari as well as a former minister and is reportedly being treated for a cardiovascular disease.
The Sindh High Court had set Dr Asim free in March after 19 months’ detention. He was booked on a complaint by the Rangers for allegedly treating and harbouring suspected terrorists at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of some MQM and PPP leaders.
Corruption references were also been filed against the former minister by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for allegedly causing massive losses to the national exchequer through corrupt practices.
Reading out its decision, the court said Dr Asim was discriminated against when his name was put on the ECL.