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Arrest Warrant Issues for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in LNG Case

Non-bailable arrest warrant issue for ex-PM Shahid Khaqan in LNG case.

The arrest warrants had been issued following a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi non-appearance before the court in today’s hearing and failure to file an exemption plea.

Accountability court judge Nasir Javed also issued a arrest that is non-bailable for the co-accused Uzma Adil Khan, that is the ex-chairperson of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).

In 2019, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Abbasi for alleged corruption while awarding a rupee that is multi-billion agreement for LNG in 2013 when he was the minister for petroleum and natural resources.

On July 28, 2020, the NAB chairman had approved a reference that is additional Abbasi, his son Abdullah Khaqan Abbasi, previous finance minister Miftah Ismail, ex-chairman of SSGC Board, former CEO of EETPL and MD of PSO, ex-chairman of Port Qasim Authority (PQA) Agha Jan Akhtar, former president of OGRA Saeed Ahmed Khan, ex-member of OGRA Aamir Naseem, Uzma, ex-MD of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Shahid M Islam, chairman of Engro Corporation Limited Husain Dawood, director of Engro Corporation Limited Abdul Samad Dawood, yet others.

The allegation was that the accused, through a procedure that is non-transparent awarded the LNG Terminal-1 contract.

Read More: Aftab Sultan steps down as head of NAB

Work that is public were accused of misusing their authorities in active connivance with each other to provide wrongful gains of Rs14.146 billion to EETL/ETPL/ECL associated with LNG Terminal-1 of EETL and in addition caused a wrongful loss of Rs7.438 billion, about, for non-utilisation of unused capacity of second LNG Terminal of PGPL from March 2015 to September 2019.

Hence, the liability that is total to Rs21.584 billion, approximately, till September 2019.

It is pertinent to mention here that further losings to be incurred for the following 10 years will amount to Rs47 billion, more or less, as the said contract shall expire on March 2029.

During the period, unexplained deposits of Rs1.426 billion were received into the accounts of Abdullah Abbasi and Rs1.294 billion were deposited in the bank accounts of the leader that is PML-N 2013 and 2017, during which the above-said LNG terminal deal was struck.

According to the reference, by concealing the beginning of the deposits that are aforementioned layering, the accused additionally committed the offense of money laundering.

Abbasi, in 2021, was granted bail by an accountability court that ruled there clearly was never ever any conflict over non-transparency in the LNG terminal case.

The court, in its detailed verdict on the bail, stated that the accountability watchdog’s case is not based on set up former petroleum minister took benefit that is financial.

There was no conflict over whether or not there was transparency into the LNG terminal situation. The forum that is authorised the approval for the LNG terminal, said the court.

The court said if the LNG terminal was developed within the interest of people or not needs research that is further.

NAB has not been in a position to prove why there’s a need certainly to keep Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in jail, said the court.

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