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Wife’s plea to keep Dr Asim hospitalised rejected

Wife’s plea to keep Dr Asim hospitalised rejected

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of the wife of Dr Asim Hussain, a former federal minister belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party, to keep him hospitalised for medical treatment after a Rangers doctor showed satisfaction about his health condition.

Also on Wednesday, the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, where Dr Asim was shifted for treatment in the early hours of Tuesday after he complained of chest pains in Rangers custody, formed a medical board comprising six cardiologists to arrive at a decision on his further treatment. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad visited the NICVD on Wednesday evening to inquire after Dr Asim’s health.

His wife, Dr Zarina Hussain, had moved the SHC stating that her husband’s condition was far from satisfactory and that he should not be moved from the hospital until he was fully fit.

On Tuesday, a two-judge bench headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah directed the Rangers not to shift Dr Asim from the health facility without the approval of the Rangers doctors.

On Wednesday, the Rangers submitted a 13-page report containing details of Dr Asim’s health condition.

Rangers Assistant Director-Medical Dr Faisal Islam in his report said that Dr Asim’s tests emerged normal and he was totally fit.

He said that Dr Asim’s heartbeat was above the normal level in view of him being a habitual smoker.

The Rangers doctor further stated that Dr Asim’s blood pressure shot up as he did not have a walk after meals. Besides, his sugar level was normal and his kidneys were functioning properly, he added.

He said that Dr Asim complained of backache after he was hospitalised for chest pains.

The Rangers doctor said that Dr Asim was not undergoing any treatment whatsoever in the NICVD; however, he was admitted to hospital on his complaint showing some symptoms, which in the opinion of the doctor, could be related to a heart problem.

However, he said, all test reports were clear and he was only under observation. He added that on Tuesday Dr Asim was shifted from the NICVD’s emergency ward to a private room, which showed that he did not require any treatment that could not be provided by the Rangers doctors.

The Rangers doctor categorically stated that the paramilitary troops had no control over private hospitals, therefore, if Dr Asim suffered any damage, including the loss of life, they would not be responsible.

According to the information, he said, there was a grave danger to the life of Dr Asim for various reasons and he was much safer in Rangers custody.

The Rangers doctor said Dr Asim, besides being a doctor himself running a hospital, enjoyed political influence with doctors. “As such his stay in the hospital cannot be left at the discretion of such doctors and if needed he can be admitted to the jail ward at the Civil Hospital, Karachi.”

Dr Asim’s daughter, Dr Nida Hussain, and their counsel vehemently opposed the interpretation of various reports made by the Rangers doctor.

Additional Attorney General Salman Talibuddin told the judges that a three-member team of cardiologists examined Dr Asim at the NICVD. He said a normal person was usually hospitalised only for two days in case of chest pains.

The federal law officer argued that the application for keeping Dr Asim hospitalised was aimed at influencing the course of investigation and interrogation being conducted against him.

The SHC bench rejected the application of Dr Asim’s family to keep him hospitalised in view of his health condition.

The bench ordered that Dr Asim may be discharged from the hospital if the doctors of the Rangers were satisfied regarding his health condition. “However, they shall strictly comply with their assurance and undertaking for providing all possible medical treatment,” the order said.

Meanwhile, doctors at the NICVD told Dawn on Wednesday that Dr Asim’s condition was stable and no new tests were conducted after the ones performed a day earlier.

They said that the NICVD director formed a six-member medical board — all cardiologists — who would make a decision on his further treatment.

Dr Asim was arrested on Aug 26 from the offices of the Sindh Higher Education Commission when he was chairing a meeting of the provincial body as its chairman.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2015

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