LAHORE - A PPP man charged with financing terrorism is something mind-boggling given the secular character of this party which has always been vocal against terrorists.

In this background, any PPP leader can be accused of doing anything wrong under the sun but the allegation of financing or supporting terrorism is hard to believe.

Dr Asim Hussain’s arrest by Rangers on Wednesday on charges of supporting terrorism and the subsequent 90-day remand granted by an Anti-Terrorist court yesterday has raised questions about the true mandate and intentions of the security agencies tasked with carrying out operations against the terrorists.

A precise charge sheet of allegations against the former federal minister is yet be submitted before the court, but the section-11-EEEE of Anti-terrorism Act under which he has been booked leaves no doubt that he is suspected of involvement in terrorism related activity. The law enforcement agencies claim they also have the mandate to investigate and punish the financers of terrorism besides taking on the terrorists.

For seeking his 90-day remand, the court was made to believe that Rangers had credible information about Dr Asim's involvement in terrorism related activities and embezzlement of funds. As for the latter allegation, it is the mandate of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe, but it has denied it had any role in Dr Asim's detention.

But the PPP man is surely facing the allegation of illegally occupying government land in North Nazimabad and Clifton for the extension of Dr Ziauddin Hospital he owns. Previously, he has also been accused of misusing his authority as Petroleum Minister during the last tenure of PPP government. And these are the charges to be investigated by other agencies like NAB and FIA.

Dr Asim's mother yesterday filed a petition in the Sindh High Court pleading that her son’s detention was unlawful as he was a respected political figure with no criminal record.

“If the Rangers have no proofs of Dr Asim’s connections with terrorists or some terrorist organization or extending financial help to them, they (Rangers) would have no jurisdiction to detain him and send the case to anti-terrorist court”, noted lawyer SM Zafar said.

“But as the anti-terrorist court has given the remand, it can be easily presumed that there must be some connection shown in the challan, otherwise, the court would not have given the remand”, he told The Nation.

Former Law Minister and eminent lawyer Dr Khalid Ranjha said that apparently the case should have gone to the NAB. But if the Rangers have proofs that the accused was financing terrorism, then it could be sent to anti-terrorism court, he added.

Barrister Amir Hassan said that it was the jurisdiction of NAB to probe financial allegations against the politicians. In his view, the Rangers had overstepped their jurisdiction in Dr Asim’s case.