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LNG case: court extends Abbasi, Ismail’s judicial remand till 28th


An accountability court on Friday extended judicial remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister Miftah Ismail till October 28 in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) case.

Talking to media after the hearing, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there are no corruption charges against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and that the government is registering fake cases out of political revenge. “The state (government) is becoming dishonest with its own people,” he lamented. Abbasi claimed that retired government officers are being pressurised to become approvers in cases against the PML-N. “We will continue to bear this injustice against us,” he asserted.

Responding to a question related to Azadi March planned by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), the former prime minister said decision of participating in the anti-government protest will be taken by the senior leadership.

It is to be mentioned here that the apex court on September 10, 2018, had directed the NAB to complete inquiry against Abbasi and others for alleged corruption in award of LNG contracts. In June 2018, the NAB approved inquiry against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Abbasi, who was minister for petroleum and natural resources at that time, over granting contract of LNG terminal for 15 years to their ‘favourite’ company. It was also alleged that the contract had 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.