Ex-PM walks to jail on judicial remand

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court, on Thursday, sent former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister Miftah Ismail to jail on judicial remand, in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) scandal.
During the hearing, the court rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal of extending the physical remand of the accused and approved their judicial remand.
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, Abbasi has been accused of granting contract on LNG terminal to ETPL, tri-partial agreement, LSA with EETPL and LNG import from Qatar, etcetera. 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 Ismaail in the same case.
According to the 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.