KARACHI: Dr Asim Hussain, the interned PPP leader and close aide to former president Asif Zardari, said on Monday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others had gone abroad to get their names removed from the recently leaked Panama Papers and the premier would not return to the country in the wake of the leaks.
He was talking to journalists in an anti-terrorism court where he and other co-accused, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Wasim Akhtar, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leader Anis Qaimkhani and PPP leader Abdul Qadir Patel, came for the hearing of a case against them.
According to the FIR lodged on a complaint of Rangers superintendent Inayatullah Durrani, Dr Asim confessed before a joint investigation team to have provided treatment to alleged MQM terrorists and gangsters of Lyari in his hospital and harboured them at the request of former and present MQM leaders Waseem Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui, Saleem Shahzad and Anis Qaimkhani as well as Qadir Patel.
The suspected terrorists had suffered injuries during shootouts with Rangers and police, it said.
PSP chief Mustafa Kamal and his party’s leaders Raza Haroon, Wasim Aftab and Iftikhar Kamal were also present in the court.
Talking to journalists, Wasim Akhtar, MQM’s mayoral candidate, said it was good that the party had been cleansed of “bad elements” who were gathering on the same platform. “Only sincere and dedicated people would remain in the folds of the party,” he added.
About the PSP’s rally on April 24, he said the employees of Bahria Town and outsiders were more likely to support and attend it.
The case against Dr Asim and others was registered at the North Nazimabad police station under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 202 (intentional omission to give information of offence by person bound to inform), 216 (harbouring offender who has escaped from custody whose apprehension has been ordered), 216-A (penalty for harbouring robbers or dacoits), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or banker, merchant or agent) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with sections 21-I (aid and abetment), 21-J (harbouring any person who committed an offence under this act) and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
Rangers had picked up Dr Hussain, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, in Clifton last year. The following day (Aug 27), the paramilitary force informed an anti-terrorism that he had been placed under a three-month preventive detention for inquiry under Section 11-EEEE of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, since they had credible information about his involvement in using embezzled funds to finance terrorism.
Meanwhile, the ATC put off the hearing to April 30 and directed the investigation officer of the case to file a report regarding disappearance of certain documents from the hospital.