ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking its response to PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain’s plea for removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).
The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam has asked NAB to respond to the petition by Nov 16.
Legal counsel representing the PPP leader, Barrister Latif Khosa has stated that Dr Asim is scheduled to travel on November 21 in connection with medical treatment.
The counsel stated that Dr Asim’s name was removed from the ECL in past, as he had to go abroad for treatment, and he returned to Pakistan on the direction of the court within one month.
He, therefore, urged the court to take action to direct the concerned authorities to remove his client’s name from the ECL.
Dr Asim’s name was placed on the ECL in November 2015 after he was charged with corruption by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Later, he pleaded to the apex court to grant him travel permission for medical reasons since the treatment was not available in Pakistan.
Subsequently, Dr Asim’s name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) following Supreme Court orders on August 29. He was thus allowed to travel for medical purposes for a duration of one month.
Dr Asim, a close aide of former President and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, faces several charges including corruption references filed by NAB of Rs 479 billion. He is also alleged to have provided treatment and protection to terrorists at a hospital owned by him.
According to NAB, Dr Asim created an artificial shortage of gas during his tenure as a result urea fertilizer prices skyrocketed and touched Rs1, 830 from just Rs850.
Due to this, the government provided a subsidy on urea import which caused Rs450 billion loss to the national exchequer from 2012 to 2013.
Dr Asim is also charged with illegal acquisition of land for the establishment of Ziauddin Hospital, according to the NAB document present in court in May last year.