KARACHI: Former federal minister and close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, Dr Asim Hussain, was admitted to a private hospital for treatment after complaining of heart problems on Tuesday.
Sindh’s Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Senior Minister for Information Nisar Ahmed Khuhro visited Dr Asim in the cardiovascular unit, said the CM’s spokesman.
Qaim Ali Shah ordered the director of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases to provide complete medical help to Dr Asim Hussain.
Dr Asim was remanded for 90 days to Rangers custody in August after the paramilitary force had contended that they had credible information regarding the PPP leader’s involvement in terrorism related activities as well as embezzlement of funds.
Last week, a two-member bench of the Sindh High Court issued a notice to the sector commander of the Ghazi Rangers in a contempt of court application filed by the wife of Dr Asim Hussain for disobeying the court’s order.
Dr Zarina Hussain in her application said that the court had directed the Rangers authorities to get his medical tests conducted in the presence of his wife and daughter.
However, she said, neither she was being allowed to visit her ailing husband, nor was he being provided proper medical treatment in custody.
Earlier, the bench had rejected her plea for shifting Dr Hussain to a hospital for treatment after a law officer of the paramilitary force stated that the detainee was being provided all necessary medical care in custody.
She said that her husband was suffering from serious ailments such as diabetes and hypertension and needed medical attention, so he should be admitted in a hospital.
Dr Asim’s arrest came in what has been described as the first major action against the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership during the ongoing Karachi operation.
On August 26, over 12 personnel in plain clothes belonging to the Federal Investigation Agency and an intelligence outfit had arrived at the HEC office and the man leading them introduced himself to Dr Asim and asked him to accompany them. Dr Asim was then taken to an undisclosed location for questioning.
Next day, he was produced before an antiterrorism court which was informed that the Rangers had detained him for 90 days for questioning.
In 2009, Dr Asim was elected Senator from Sindh on a PPP ticket. He served as the minister of petroleum and natural resources and then the prime minister’s adviser with the same portfolio until 2012.
After the 2013 general elections, the PPP government in Sindh made him chairman of the provincial HEC.
He is also believed to be close to the top leadership of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.