KARACHI: An accountability court on Wednesday indicted former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and three others on the charge of illegal appointments in...
KARACHI: An accountability court on Wednesday indicted former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and three others on the charge of illegal appointments in the Pakistan State Oil. Abbasi reacted to it saying that the federal government was using the National Accountability Bureau as a tool for political engineering by concocting cases against political rivals and dissidents.
The NAB accused Abbasi, former petroleum secretary Arshad Mirza, PSO'sformer managing director Sheikh Imranul Haq and deputy managing director and chief financial officer Yacoob Suttar for allegedly causing a loss of Rs138.96 million to the national exchequer.
It said that Abbasi, when serving as the minister for petroleum and natural resources, in connivance with Mirza misused his authority and appointed Sheikh as MD and Suttar as DMD of the PSO in violation of rules and regulations and at exorbitant salaries ranging between Rs3 to Rs5 million per month. The inquiry into this case was conducted on the Supreme Court's order of July 14, 2018.
The probe found that Haq had a conflict of interest with the PSO due to a liquified natural gas import agreement with his previous employer Engro Corporation of which he served as the senior vice president, according to the NAB. He also promoted Suttar to the post of DMD out of the way and within a month of his joining.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, Abbasi said, “Thankfully, they did not implicate me for corruption but for misusing my authority. If as a petroleum minister I cannot appoint one or two persons to run the state oil company, then what is my authority?”
Criticizing the government’s so-called accountability campaign, he said that even the Supreme Court of Pakistan had remarked recently that NAB had reduced itself to a tool being used to harass and blackmail people in the country and for political engineering. The Accountability Court-III in Karachi will begin the trial on August 27.