Thursday, April 06, 2017

Dr. Asim’s Bail

Dr. Asim Hussain was born in Karachi, Pakistan on 28 November 1953 to Ms. Ejaz Fatima and Mr. Tajammul Hussain, the founding members of the Dr. Ziauddin Group of Hospitals.
Dr. Asim Hussain received his early education from the Karachi Grammar School and later enrolled in the Cadet College, Petaro at about the same time as Asif Zardari. After serving a brief period in the Pakistan Army, Dr. Asim Hussain retired as a Lieutenant and chose to pursue the degree of MBBS. He graduated from Dow Medical College (now, Dow University of Health Sciences) Karachi in 1978 and went to Europe for further studies. He became a member of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPS) in 1981 and continued his studies in Vienna, Austria.
He developed and expanded the hospital he had inherited until it became a teaching hospital and eventually a medical university. However, due to his political affiliation he also held the following positions:
·         Honorary Personal Physician to the President of Pakistan, since December 12, 2009
·         Advisor/Federal Minister Petroleum & Natural Resource from May, 2011 until May, 2013
·         Advisor to the Prime Minister for Petroleum & Natural Resources/Federal Minister from November, 2008 until August, 2009
·         Chairman, National Reconstruction Bureau with the status of Federal Minister from May, 2008 until November, 2009
On the 27th of August 2015 Asim Hussain was detained by the Authorities in an ongoing operation within the city of Karachi launched by the Pakistani Army.
The charges against Dr. Asim range from providing protection and treating terrorists to embezzlement and corruption to the tune of Rs. 920 billion in course of his lucrative appointments.
I have never met him but have heard people talk about him. During Benazir’s reign as PM, steel products of Karachi’s Pakistan Steel Mills were sold officially @ Rs. 18,000/ton and in open/black market @ Rs. 30,000 per ton. The explanation given by the traders was that to buy any steel from the mills they first had to get a parchi or prescription form a certain doctor sahib after paying cash @ Rs. 6,000/ton.  The reason why nobody complained about this obvious extortion was that doctor sahib was a close friend of the first gentleman of Pakistan. Not surprisingly, the steel mill is now closed.
On March 29, 2017 Dr. Asim was released on bail, though his passport has been confiscated. For more details read Dawn.
It is interesting to note that whereas PPP leaders have been condemning the arrest and prosecution of Dr. Asim, the medical profession has kept quiet on the issue.

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