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Ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appears before NAB in LNG contract case

Ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appears before NAB in LNG contract case

ISLAMABAD: Ex-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday before Combined Investigation Team (CIT) of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with alleged corruption in liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract award.

Abbasi, who also remained petroleum minister, appeared before NAB’s CIT and the members of Combined Investigation Team asked different questions from him.

During the previous appearance the CIT also handed over a questionnaire to Abbasi and asked him to furnish the replies of the questions to CIT. The NAB’s CIT will examine the replies given by Abbasi during his appearance, he said, adding that Chairman NAB former Justice Javed Iqbal is directly supervising the investigations against the former prime minister.

The NAB on January 2 had converted an inquiry into investigation against Abbasi for alleged misuse of powers with respect to the LNG terminal project.

The Bureau approved launching an investigation against Abbasi who served as former petroleum minister, Arshad Mirza, former secretary petroleum, Sheikh Imran-ul-Haq, former managing director Pakistan State Oil (PSO), and other officials at its Executive Board Meeting (EBM) presided over by Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal (retd) on January 2 this year.

The Supreme Court on September 10, 2018 had directed the NAB to complete inquiry into the matter and submit its report. The case was registered in 2015 on the complaint of Shahid Sattar, an energy expert at the NAB Karachi, against Abbasi for awarding the LNG import contract which allegedly caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

In February this year, the Supreme Court fixed a plea filed by President Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, seeking disqualification of Abbasi over alleged corruption in the award of LNG import contract. The petition requested the Supreme Court to order NAB to take action against Abbasi in this regard.