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LNG contract case: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi excuses himself from appearing before NAB

LNG contract case: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi excuses himself from appearing before NAB

ISLAMABAD: Former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi excused himself from appearing before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday in an ongoing probe into the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract case.

Abbasi was expected to appear before the accountability watchdog’s Rawalpindi office on Friday, however, the former premier is currently not in the country and hence, could not appear before the anti-graft body. The accountability bureau has now asked Abbasi to appear on February 19.

The anti-corruption watchdog, in 2018, initiated an inquiry against former premiers Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif over alleged misuse of authority. Abbasi and few others had been accused of illegally awarding LNG terminal contract for a period of 15 years to a company of their liking in violation of defined rules, ‘thus inflicting billions of rupees losses to the national exchequer’.

The inquiry into the LNG contract case had been initiated almost one-and-a-half year after the NAB Karachi office closed a similar inquiry against Abbasi for his alleged role in the award of a multi-billion rupee contract for the import and distribution of LNG.

The PML-N government in its tenure from 2013-2018 completed two LNG terminals, while just days before completion of its term, on May 31, it stopped the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) from going ahead with bidding for the allocation of a site for constructing a third terminal.