ISLAMABAD: The Interior Minister assured the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Dr Asim Hussain’s name will be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL).
On November 16, the court had directed the government to strike off Dr Asim’s name from the ECL so he could travel abroad for a month for medical treatment.
During today’s hearing, Dr Asim’s counsel, Latif Khosa, informed the two-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam that his client’s name was not taken off the ECL despite earlier orders of the apex court.
The Interior Ministry then assured the court that his name will be taken off the ECL in light of the court directions.
The court also stated that Dr Asim’s name will remain removed from the ECL from now on, and for future trips he has to take permission of the lower courts before he leaves the country.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa observed during the hearing that the petitioner should not flee the country on the pretext of medical treatment.
Dr Asim had filed a contempt petition against the Interior Ministry over its failure to comply with court orders.
On Friday, the bench had issued a contempt notice to the interior secretary for failing to strike off Dr Asim’s name from the ECL.
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.