After a yearlong arrest under charges of facilitating terrorists, the Sindh High Court finally granted former petroleum adviser Dr Asim Hussain bail after four earlier bail pleas, which were denied. The case relates to the alleged sheltering and treatment of terrorists and criminals belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Lyari gangs at his private hospitals.

When the Rangers detained Dr Asim on August 26, 2015, it had created quite a furore amongst political circles, especially the PPP, that along with the MQM insisting that the ongoing Karachi operation essentially paints a target on the backs of these two political parties. On the other hand, the common man rejoiced hoping that the operation’s purpose of inhibiting terrorists’ facilitation and corruption would transform the metropolis that has witnessed decades of violence and senseless bloodshed.

Reports of Dr Asim’s ailing health have been making rounds since his arrest but that has not deterred the authorities from keeping him in custody. The court gave him bail, not on the account of his health problems, but due to the fact that a considerable time had passed and no concrete evidence was presented in court against him and hence granted him two months of bail provided he does not leave the country.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari made an impassioned appeal on his behalf and said that he should not be treated like a “Lal Masjid Taliban”. The PPP is bound to come up for air time and speak for its loyalists, even though it is evident that they have distanced themselves from those who were unfortunate enough to be implicated. Mr Bhutto should perhaps rearrange his moral compass before making such pleas. A person who aids terrorists is a terrorist himself if not worse. Thus such distinctions should not prevent those who are responsible for upsetting the peace and security of this nation, from roaming free without any consequence.