Dr Asim leaves for London, says he is ‘very much in PPP’ | Pakistan

KARACHI: PPP leader and former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain on Friday denied rumours of quitting the PPP and said that he is still part of the party and will continue to work under the leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

“I do not understand why these rumours are surfacing are surfacing. I am very much in Peoples Party. I believe in the leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and will continue to work under his leadership,” said Asim.

He further said that there is no problem with positions being changed within a political party.

Elaborating further, the former minister said he believes in a federal party and in one Pakistan.

Speaking in regards to leaving the country, he said he will not be leaving for a long period of time and will keep returning to the country.

“My cases will continue and I will fight them,” added Asim. 

Asim left the country on Friday evening after sources said his name was struck of the Exit Control List (ECL) on Thursday following court orders. 

On November 16, an apex court comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa had directed the government to strike off Dr Asim’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) so he can travel abroad for medical treatment.

Dr Asim, a former petroleum minister and Pakistan Peoples Party leader, is accused in three cases: two of corruption during his stint in the last federal government and one of facilitating terrorists at his hospital.

On August 29, Dr Asim was allowed to leave for London for a back surgery and ordered to submit a surety bond of Rs6 million.

In the contempt of court petition submitted today, Dr Asim has named Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza and other officials as respondents.

The petition states that the officials, despite repeated verbal and written reminders since the November 16 order of the apex court, have not removed Dr Asim’s name from the ECL.

It pleads that contempt proceedings be initiated against them for flouting the Supreme Court’s orders.

Dr Asim’s detention 

Dr Asim, a close aide of former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, was detained by the Rangers in August 2015, while he was heading the provincial higher education department.

He was later transferred to the custody of the civilian law enforcement agencies.

He faces two corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He is also alleged to have provided treatment and protection to terrorists at the Ziauddin Hospital, owned by him.

His name was first added to the ECL on the NAB’s request on November 24, 2015.

On March 31 this year, after 19 months in custody, Dr Asim was released when he secured bail in all three cases against him.

Following his release, he was shifted from the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Complex to the Ziauddin Hospital.

The Sindh High Court, on March 29, approved the former minister’s bail request after he furnished his passports that were being held by the Anti-Terrorism Court in connection.

News Reporter

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