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February 2, 2020

Former PM takes step on Nawaz’s direction

 
February 2, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday has filed a post arrest bail petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) in LNG reference.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has filed bail petition in IHC through his lawyer Barrister Zafarullah Khan. The Ministry of Law and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have been made respondents in the plea.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi filed bail plea on the direction of PML-N supreme leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London.

Abbasi has requested the court to approve his bail until completion of his trial in LNG reference filed by NAB. A copy of the court decision with regard to bail granted to Shaikh Imranul Haq, a co-accused in the LNG case, has also been attached with the petition.

“The petitioner has been in NAB detention for 191 days and the real motive of the accountability bureau is only to harass the petitioner,” the plea argued. It was initiated for his media trial, according to the plea.

The NAB has filed an interim reference against the petitioner till now, the petition said. The petitioner and other accused were not even provided the copies of thereference so far, the petition said. Abbasi pleaded to the court for approval of his post arrest bail in the case. He had previously refused to file a bail plea.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is accused of granting contract on LNG terminal to ETPL, Tri-partil agreement, LSA with EETPL and LNG import from Qatar when he was minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources.

On September 10, 2018 apex court directed NAB to complete inquiry against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others for alleged corruption in LNG contract.

In June 2018, the NAB approved inquiry against former premier Nawaz Sharif and Abbasi for granting contract of LNG terminal for 15 years to their ‘favourite’ company, which caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

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.