Ex-Pak PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held in multi-billion rupee case

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested on his way to a news conference. (AP file photo)

Former Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with a multi-billion rupee case linked to the award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract, Dawn reported on Thursday.

Abbasi, who served for less than a year following the resignation of former premier Nawaz Sharif in 2017, was reportedly arrested while on his way to a news conference in the eastern city of Lahore.

The former prime minister was summoned for questioning by the NAB today. However, he failed to appear before the bureau. The NAB notice served to Abbasi said it took cognizance of the allegations against Abbasi.

According to Dawn, the former prime minister is expected to be produced before an accountability court for physical remand. A medical team is scheduled to conduct an examination, it said.

Abbasi has denied the charges and said that he would prove his innocence in any court of law, PTI reported.

Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Shariff posted a video on Twitter just minutes before Abbasi was arrested.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif condemned Abbasi’s arrest. He tweeted: "We strongly protest Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s arrest. The institution of NAB has become Imran Khan’s puppet. Our spirits cannot be wavered by such cheap tactics."

Earlier this year, in April, the Pakistani government had imposed a travel ban on Abbasi along with six others in the same case, reported Dawn.