Making an emotional plea for the release of Dr Asim Hussain, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday said the PPP loyalist should not be treated like a “Lal Masjid Taliban”.
The chairman was speaking to reporters after his visit with Dr Hussain, who doctors say suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA) Friday night in the ‘sub-jail’ of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).
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 Doctor 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 facilitatators, the financiers, we see Doctor Hussain of PPP behind bars, we see the mayor of Karachi behind bars,” he said, asking “What message are you sending to the world?”
The chairman said that was a victim of terrorism having lost his mother to the cause, adding, ‘Nawaz Sharif owes me an explanation. Are we or are we not fighting terrorism?’