ISLAMABAD (92 News) – An accountability court extended physical remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former PSO managing director Shaikh Imranul Haq for 14 days in LNG case on Thursday.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team had presented Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Shaikh Imranul Haq in accountability court in LNG reference hearing.
The NAB officials pleaded to the court for extension in physical remand of the accused by further 14 days. Judge Muhammad Bashir reserved his decision over the NAB request.
Later, the judge extended the physical remands of Khaqan Abbasi and other until September 26. Judge Mohammad Bashir remarked that he granted physical remand of Shahid Khakhan and Miftah Ismail for the last time.
PML-N leaders Khawaja Asif and Rana Tanvir also met Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the courtroom. Former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Malik Abrar were also present during the meeting.
After the hearing, speaking to the journalists, the former prime minister once again rejected the rumours of deal between government the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N). “We have no need of deal with the incumbent government,” he said.
The former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
is facing charges of corruption and awarding a LNG import contract at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused big loss to the national exchequer.Sources said that he had granted a tender worth Rs220 bn to a firm in which he himself was a shareholder.
NAB sources said that Abbasi, in 2013, had awarded a LNG import and distribution contract to the Elengy Terminal in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws.
On July 18, the NAB arrested PML-N vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from the Toll Plaza near Thokar Niaz Baig in LNG case.
On Jan 2, the NAB Executive Board had authorized two investigations against Mr Abbasi, being former minister for petroleum and natural resources — one for his alleged involvement in irregularities in LNG import and the other related to the appointment of Naeemuddin Khan as president of the Bank of Punjab.
The NAB inquiry found that the SSGCL signed a 15-year contract with a subsidiary company of Engro for re-gasification of LNG at fixed daily processing charges. The government authorized the Pakistan State Oil to procure LNG on behalf of the SSGCL.
However, the NAB reopened the inquiry against Abbasi in October 2018.