AC approves Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s 13-day physical remand in LNG case

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi 5

An Accountability Court (AC) in Rawalpindi has on Friday approved a 13-day physical remand of former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) produced Shahid Khaqan Abbasi before the court and requested for the physical remand. Judge Muhammad Bashir conducted the hearing.
The anti-corruption watchdog had on Thursday arrested Shahid Khaqan Abbasi near Thokar Niaz Baig toll plaza in Lahore in connection with an ongoing investigation into the ‘illegal’ award of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract with Qatar.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been ‘accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices’ by the NAB.
NAB sources said former secretary Abid Saeed has become approver against Abbasi in LNG case and decision to arrest former PM was made after secretary testified against Abbasi.
He was shifted to NAB Rawalpindi after the arrest. The accountability bureau had served him four notices to appear before it.
Abbasi underwent a medical checkup latenight at NAB Rawalpindi where his blood pressure, sugar level and other necessary tests were conducted. NAB also sought information from Abbasi for medicines to be used.
Let it be known that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had skipped the NAB Rawalpindi appearance in a case pertaining to the LNG scandal earlier. The apex court on September 10, 2018 directed the NAB to complete the inquiry against Abbasi and others for the alleged corruption in the LNG contract.
As the minister for petroleum and natural resources, he has been accused of granting contract on LNG Terminal to ETPL, Tri-partial agreement, LSA with EETPL and LNG import from Qatar etc.
In June 2018, the NAB approved inquiry against former premier Nawaz Sharif and Abbasi, who was the former minister for petroleum and natural resources at that time, in granting contract of LNG terminal for 15 years to their ‘favourite’ company.
It was also observed that this contract had allegedly caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer. In January, the NAB interrogated former finance minister Miftah Ismail in the same case.
According to NAB documents, the contract for the LNG import and distribution was awarded to the Elengy Terminal, a subsidiary of Engro, in 2013 in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws.