Rangers report mentioned the figure of Rs2 bn daily and also said Dr Asim got nine plots during Musharraf’s rule and PPP’s govt in Sindh; no action being taken against those who gave plots

Ansar Abbasi
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
From Print Edition

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ISLAMABAD: The NAB investigations into the Rangers report on Dr Asim Hussain have at least confirmed one fact i.e. the alleged daily bribe from the PSO that the arrested PPP leader had been receiving was Rs20 million and not Rs2 billion.

The Rangers report, while quoting former MD Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Zuhair Siddiqui, had alleged, “He (Siddiqui) revealed that Dr Asim received huge daily kickback of Rs 2 billion per day from PSO through Jehangir Shah (DMD PSO) and Jaffery (GM Sales PSO and brother of Sadiq Jaffery; close friend of Dr Asim and right hand man of Asif Zardari).”

The News has been contacted by a NAB official a few days back to clarify that the correct figure of the alleged per day kickbacks, according to the former MD SSGC’s claim, being received by Dr Asim from the PSO officials was Rs 20 million.

More seriously, a reading of the Rangers report gives the impression as if the terror-related accusations against Dr Asim are also primarily based on former MD SSGC’s statement, which too does not offer anything concrete against the arrested close confidante of Asif Ali Zardari.

Pure corruption allegations against Dr Asim in certain cases, as has been recently formally conveyed to the NAB by the Rangers report, appear to have convincing details.

However, in regard to Dr Asim’s involvement in terrorism-related crime, the report in its “findings” said, “It has also been revealed during the course of investigations that he (Dr Asim) is responsible for inflicting losses to the tune of billions of rupees on national exchequer. Huge amount so embezzled was provided to his political masters which was subsequently used in terror financing and funding target killers to create unrest in the metropolitan city and economic hub of Pakistan.”

There is no mention in the report that which “political master” has been provided the “embezzled money” and if Dr Asim had any nexus with masters of target killers or he was just being blackmailed and forced to pay extortions like any other businessman in the city by the Karachi mafia.

Unfortunately, no source was available to reveal the point of view of Dr Asim. It is not known whether or not he had accepted the allegations leveled against him in the report.

A senior official of the Rangers Karachi when approached said on condition of not being named that irrespective of the fact what the report sent to the NAB says, they had convincing evidence of Dr Asim’s involvement in criminal activities.

The official said that the Rangers decision to arrest Dr Asim was not the consequence of any half cooked probe but compelling evidence. The Rangers source indicated that Dr Asim’s corruption cases will be handled by the NAB but the criminal/terrorism side will continue to be pursued by the Rangers. The source added that Dr Asim will continue to be in custody of Rangers and there are no chances of his early release.

Although, the Rangers have yet to share the evidence of terror-related alleged crimes of Dr Asim, the agency’s report as provided to the NAB in such criminal activities relies on the statement of former MD SSGC Zuhair Siddiqui.

Quoting Siddiqui, the report said, “(15) He revealed that Dr Asim is likely providing funding to MQM(A), as he enjoys very close relations with Babar Ghauri & Governor Ishratul Ebad. He probably provides such funding through Babar Ghauri for securing his hospital business located at North Nazimabad.”

Siddiqui is further quoted as saying in his statement para (17): “He revealed that Dr Asim enjoys close & cordial relationships with MQM (A) leaders like Altaf Hussain, Dr Ishratul Ebad, Dr Farooq Sattar, etc, and through telephonic instructions from London Dr Asim directed him (Siddiqui) from time to time for appointment of MQM(A) workers which he complied to & accommodated approximately 20-25 workers of MQM(A) in SSGC.”

As reflected above even Siddiqui talked about Dr Asim’s terror connection with the MQM with doubts by using the expressions “likely” and “probably”. Interestingly, Dr Asim is alleged to have close relations with Dr Ishratul Ebad, Dr Farooq Sattar and Babur Ghauri — one of whom was appointed Governor Sindh and continues as such even today while the other two were the cabinet ministers in General Musharraf’s government. Altaf Hussain is the MQM leader, who was treated exceptionally during the Musharraf regime.

Regarding the allegation of land grabbing, the Rangers report shows that Dr Asim has been given nine plots in the name of Dr Ziauddin Hospital Trust during 2002-2011. Two of these plots, measuring 25 acres each, were allotted to the Trust in 2002 and 2006 under the Musharraf rule. Among the remaining plots, three measuring two acres, four acres and four acres respectively have been allotted to him by the PPP government in Sindh. The remaining three are in the process of allotment and processed during the PPP Sindh government.

Astonishingly, although the Rangers report and the NAB probe do see wrong in Dr Asim for being recipient of these highly expensive state land, there is no mention of those rulers and authorities who had actually committed the crime of doling out the government land to a favourite.

Regarding the SSGC’s illegal favour to KESC, PMDC and CNG issues, the NAB sources indicate that in these cases Dr Asim may find himself in hot soup.
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