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Top court gives Dr Asim green light to travel abroad for medical treatment

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday granted permission to PPP Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain to travel abroad on the medical grounds.

The top court was hearing a petition filed by Dr Asim through his counsel Latif Khosa when it ruled in favour of the petitioner after directing authorities concerned to remove Dr Asim’s name from the ‘Exit Control List’ (ECL).

A two-member bench, comprising of Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard the petition.

During the court proceedings today, the petitioner’s counsel contended that his client was under treatment and he was supposed to leave the country on Nov 9, however, his flight had been pushed ahead to Nov 21 due to his name in the ECL.

He pleaded the court to grant Dr Asim a permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that justice should be done to all. He said the suspects booked in various heinous crimes including treason charges were out of the country and roaming freely.

The bench then directed authorities to remove Dr Asim’s name from the ECL, allowing him to travel abroad.

Arrival in Pakistan

Earlier, Asim, a close aide of former President Asif Ali Zardari, had returned to Pakistan on Oct 6 (last month) after spending a month in London for medical treatment.

In a brief interaction with media on his arrival at Karachi International Airport, Dr. Asim Hussain said that he has kept his promise and returned to the country after undergoing a medical treatment.

“I have come to face ‘baseless’ graft cases against me,” he remarked. The opponents filed false corruption cases and dug a pit to trap others but fall into it themselves, he added while referring to Sharif family.

“My arrival is sheer evidence of false [corruption] allegations against me,” Hussain then added.

He also said the war that Sharif is raging with the military was not in the best interests of the country. “The military leadership belongs to Pakistan. It belongs to the nation and is from among the people,” he further said.

He said it was beyond his understanding as why Sharif considering himself a true representative of the nation since Sharif family members had spent a decade abroad and were still out of the country. “It is your misunderstanding Mian Sahib that the nation stands with you,” he remarked.

‘Prolonged court cases’

Suffering setbacks time and again, PPP Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain’s name was finally removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) after Supreme Court on August 29 granted him permission to travel abroad for a month to undergo medical treatment while hearing his plea.

Asim’s name had been on the ECL since November 2015 for facing corruption references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He had then petitioned High Courts to have travel restrictions on him removed so that he could undergo disc replacement surgery in London, as he said, the treatment of such an ailment was not possible in Pakistan.

NAB allegations

Earlier, the anti-graft watchdog had said that the former petroleum minister had allegedly misused his powers by getting plots allotted fraudulently, encroaching state land for expansion of Dr. Ziauddin Hospital/ money laundering, kickbacks, illegal gains, receiving commission through fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment of gas for exploitative price and defrauding people in the name of charity hospital.

The NAB had alleged that he had deprived public exchequer of Rs 462 billion.



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