KARACHI (Staff Report) – An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday rejected the investigation report by Sindh police that had acquitted Dr Asim Hussain of all terror charges, directing the authorities to present the suspect before ATC-II for further proceedings.

Former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain, who was in NAB custody, has now been handed over to the police. Investigation Officer DSP Altaf Hussain presented the report in the court who explained why the suspect was released.

He noted, “We did not find any evidence during the course of the investigation. The investigation report was first sent to the concerned SSP for approval, then to the DIG concerned, and was finally approved by police’s legal team.”

Police had informed the court on December 11 that no terror-related evidence was found against Dr Asim under Section 497 (II) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which was why he was not required to be detained.

However, the Rangers prosecutor, contrary to the police statement, had contended that enough evidence existed against Dr Hussain to implicate him. He stated that the statement of Dr Yousuf Sattar, the managing director of Ziauddin Hospital, was concrete evidence against Dr Hussain.

The Rangers prosecutor further said that the Instigation Officer did not consult the Rangers during investigations despite the case being initiated by the paramilitary force.

The court had ordered the police investigate officer to submit a report within 10 days demanding an explanation as to why no charges could be established against Dr Asim under the CRPC.

Counsel for Dr Asim, Anwar Mansoor Khan, informed the court he was receiving threats from certain quarters for defending the suspect.

In a statement to the court, Dr Asim said: “My life is under threat. I have been humiliated by the press, by electronic media. And I am the son of those who played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan.” He alleged he was facing “personal vendetta” and said all evidence against him was “false.”

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.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Rangers also filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) challenging removal of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the case of Dr Asim Hussain.

On Sunday, the Sindh government through a notification appointed senior lawyer Nisar Ahmed Durrani as SPP to replace Mushtaq Jahangiri.

The change followed Rangers petition in the court filed against any possible change of SPP in the high profile case. Now after the move – which deepened row between PPP-led provincial government and the paramilitary force over the trial – might lead to release of Dr Asim Hussain.

Deputy Superintendent of Rangers (DSR) Inayatullah on Monday filed a petition in the court, stating that the Sindh government’s move “is illegal and based on malafide intention to facilitate the accused.”

The petitioner appealed the court to restrain the government from intervening in the trial.