PPP slams Rangers over Dr Asim’s ‘confession’
ISLAMABAD: The main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party accused Rangers on Thursday of becoming a tool of the government for arm-twisting of political opponents.The PPP denounced torture of former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain and running footage of his “confessional statement” on private TV channels.The TV channels telecast the footage on Wednesday showing Dr Asim sitting on a chair and maligning the party leadership.
In a statement, a PPP spokesman said that the law enforcement agency had exposed itself to the charge that it was acting as a veritable arm of the interior ministry and was inflicting torture on political opponents.“Clearly Rangers, who kept Dr Asim in their custody, are responsible for torturing Dr Asim and leaking the video footage to TV channels,” he said.
“This is a monstrous notoriety and monumental arrogance of the law-enforcing agency which kept Dr Asim in custody and, therefore, it is condemned in the strongest terms,” he said, adding that the video confirmed apprehensions that Dr Asim would be brutally tortured to extract a so-called confessional statement from him.He said that the mother of Dr Asim had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court expressing fears that her son might be tortured by law enforcement agencies to extract the so-called confessional statement from him to malign the party leadership. The spokesman said that the worst fears of Dr Asim’s mother had come true.
He said that Dr Asim had been taken into custody by the law enforcement agency first by accusing him of terrorism under anti-terror laws, but when Rangers realised that they had no case to prove in a court of law against Dr Asim they changed tack and brought corruption charges against him even though there existed separate legal mechanisms for addressing corruption charges.The spokesman condemned the atrocity of the law enforcement agency and called for the accountability of all those responsible for torturing Dr Asim.He also called for early adoption of anti-torture legislation passed unanimously by the Senate in March last year.
“This legislation is necessary to put an end to torture in custody and to ensure that such crimes are not committed in future,” the spokesman said.Reacting to the video footage showing Dr Asim Hussain levelling serious allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari’s foster brother Owais Muzaffar alias Tappi, his lawyer Anwar Mansoor Khan said that his client had been forced and tortured in custody by Rangers to extract statements of their choice.“It was a malicious attempt to influence not only the court and judges but also the masses in general,” he told a press conference.
“They [security agencies] know that there is a bail application pending with the ATC and the court has fixed the date for order on June 18, hence they have attempted to misguide judges against him [Dr Asim Hussain]. I will request the court to have such activities stopped forthwith.”He said that under the law, any statement taken under duress, without the presence of any magistrate, in solitary confinement and under the influence of drugs had no legal sanctity.“Last night there was a clip run by electronic media in which my client was shown giving a statement against a third person,” he said.“This video clip belongs to the period when Dr Asim was taken into custody by Rangers, tortured and forced to record statements of their choice. They did not allow Dr Asim to meet his lawyer, he said.