Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Dr Asim is a political worker of PPP and should not be treated like a ‘Lal Masjid Taliban’.
The chairman was speaking to reporters after his visit with Dr Hussain said that Nawaz Sharif was using the operation to target Karachi and political opponents, “whether he was Dr Asim Hussain, or whether he was the mayor of Karachi”.
He visited former minister for petroleum Dr Asim Hussain who doctors say suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA) Friday night in the ‘sub-jail’ of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
“Dr Hussain had twin grandchildren while he was in the hospital and he did not know about it,” the chairperson said. He was seen standing beside Zarin Hussain, wife of Dr Hussain, who he said is fighting breast cancer.
“Dr Hussain has suffered a severe medical attack yesterday. The tests that are required to ensure no harm will come to this individual are not available in Pakistan,” the chairman said.
The chairman said that Dr Hussain is a “political prisoner” of the Nawaz Sharif’s government, adding that, the prime minister is “exploiting the NAP to weaken and intimidate his opposition.”
Hospital officials added that doctors took him for an emergency check-up where his MRI and CT scan tests were conducted.
“Dr Hussain is currently under observation,” doctors had said. They added that the attack might be the result of high blood pressure and excessive stress. The doctors advised him for complete rest.
Dr Hussain is a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari. While Dr Hussain does not hold any formal office in the party, he is said to have wielded enormous influence with Mr Zardari when the latter was the country’s president.
After three-month preventive detention, the paramilitary force handed him over to police in a case pertaining to sheltering and treating alleged terrorists at his hospitals.
“It was Dr Asim Hussain’s political party, the PPP, that was the first voice in this country against extremism,” Bilawal said.
“Instead of seeing the Taliban behind bars, the good Taliban, the bad good Taliban, the facilitators, the financiers, we see Dr Hussain of PPP behind bars, we see the mayor of Karachi behind bars,” he said, asking “What message are you sending to the world?”
He said the federal government was targeting Karachi through its operation adding the Dr Asim Hussain was the only politician who was tried through the Anti-terror act and kept in Ranger’s custody for 90 days.
“Mian Nawaz Sharif has been using this operation to take political benefits for himself. He is specifically using this to target Sindh province,” he said.
He also questioned the credibility of national action plan and asked the prime minister ‘what you have done in past three years’ and ‘why we should support you and your government.’