Pakistan’s accountability bureau filed on Tuesday a reference against former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and eight others for their alleged involvement in the LNG import contract case.
Former managing directors of PSO Sheikh Imranul Haq and Shahid M Islam have been named in the case. Port Qasim Authority former chairperson Agha Jan Akhtar, former OGRA chairperson Saeed Ahmed Khan, former OGRA member Aamir Naseem and authority’s current chairperson Uzma Adil Khan have been named in the reference too.
The reference, which has been filed in an Islamabad accountability court, states that one company gained profits worth Rs21 billion from March 2015 to September 2019 because of the LNG contract because of which the national treasury incurred losses worth Rs47 billion.
Abbasi and Ismail were arrested four months ago for investigation in the case. A travel ban was imposed on them in April. NAB in its notice to Abbasi accused him of misusing his authority and “deceitfully, fraudulently and dishonestly” causing loss to the national exchequer while awarding the contract for LNG terminal-1.
The former PM has been accused of illegally awarding a 15-year contract for an LNG terminal while he was serving as the petroleum minister in Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet. The case was reopened in 2018 after being closed in 2016.
NAB claims that the government rented out a terminal of the Engro Group for 15 years at a cost of Rs27 million per day.
Abbasi, on the other hand, has denied the charge. Speaking to the media after the hearing, the former PM claimed that this is all political engineering.
The court, on the other hand, approved the judicial remand of Abbasi and Miftah in the case till December 16.