KARACHI: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for five absconders in a terror case registered against former federal minister and PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain.
The court ordered Investigating Officer (IO) Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Altaf Hussain to arrest and produce the absconders ─ Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Waseem Akhtar, Anis Qaimkhani, Saleem Shahzad, PPP’s Qadir Patel and Pasban leader Usman Moazzam ─ before the court on the date of the next hearing on January 8.
MQM’s Rauf Siddiqui who was also named an absconder in the investigation report is on pre-arrest bail.
A First Information Report (FIR) booked Dr Asim for allegedly treating and harbouring terrorists, gangsters and activists of banned militant outifits at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of his hospital at the behest of political leaders.
Police in the remand paper earlier had stated that IO Rana Zulfiqar had questioned Dr Asim, who confessed to having provided treatment to alleged terrorists of the MQM and gangsters of Lyari at his hospital and harboured them after MQM leaders Waseem Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui, Anis Qaimkhani and Saleem Shahzad, Qadir Patel of the PPP had allegedly asked him to do so.
The court on Wednesday (today) also expressed displeasure over provision of incomplete prosecution documentation by IO DSP Hussain to Dr Hussain and directed the IO to produce all prosecution documentation along with a list of documents before the ATC in the next hearing.
The court, in a hearing earlier this month, had ordered that copies of all prosecution documents, including statements of witnesses, be handed over to Dr Hussain in compliance with Section 265-C of the Criminal Procedure Code by December 30.
It is pertinent to mention that Dr Hussain has been on physical remand of the National Accountability Bureau and will be produced before the court on Jan 5.
The arrest of Dr Hussain, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, came on Aug 26 and was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during the ongoing Karachi operation.
Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention with Rangers, police sought multiple extensions in his remand for further questioning and collection of evidence in a case relating to treatment of, and sheltering, terrorists.
After police released him on Dec 11, he was arrested by NAB from the court’s premises and an accountability court later remanded him to the anti-graft body’s custody until he was arrested by the police again on Monday.