Pak anti-corruption watchdog files case against Abbasi, 9 others in LNG contract case

Islamabad, Dec 3 (PTI) Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog on Tuesday filed a corruption case against former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over alleged irregularities in awarding LNG terminal contract to a firm.

Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and eight other accused, including former managing director of Pakistan State Oil, have also been named in the case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Abbasi and others have been accused of illegally awarding the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal contract for a period of 15 years to a company of their liking and causing losses to the national exchequer.

The terminals were built to store LNG imported from Qatar.

The NAB filed the case in the Accountability court of Judge Muhammad Bashir, who had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif in a corruption case in 2018.

According to the case, one company received benefits of over Rs 21 billion between March 2015 and September of this year.

The case stated that the national exchequer will suffer a loss of Rs 47 billion by 2029 because of the contract.

Abbasi was arrested in connection with the case in July. He is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for a terminal against the rules when he was the petroleum minister in former prime minister Sharif’s cabinet. The case was closed by NAB in 2016 but then reopened in 2018.

Both Abbasi and Ismail were already in the custody of NAB and the court extended their judicial remand till December 16.

Abbasi on several occasions denied any wrongdoing and said that he would be solely responsible if any law was violated in the case. PTI SH PMS PMS

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