LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday arrested former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Lahore.
Teams of NAB Lahore and NAB Rawalpindi intercepted Shahid Khaqan Abbasi near Thokar Niaz Beg in Lahore while he was on his way to attend a press conference. The NAB chairman had already issued arrest warrants for the suspect in Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) case. The development came after he skipped the court hearing. An accountability court had summoned Abbasi in the case today.
“You are requested to appear on 18-07-2019 at 10am at NAB Islamabad before Investigation Officer Malik Zubair Ahmed, deputy director, for discussion and recording your statement being minister of petroleum and natural resources on LNG terminal.
“You are advised that failing with this notice may entail penal consequences as provided in serial 2 of the schedule of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999,” said the NAB notice which was sent to the suspect for alleged embezzlement in a Rs36.969 billion contract awarded to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The notice said the relevant authority had taken notice of the alleged crime committed by the former PM under the provision of NAO 1999 on allegations of “deceitfully, fraudulently and dishonestly causing a loss to the national exchequer, misuse of authority, and obtaining pecuniary advantage through corrupt, dishonest and illegal means during the award of LNG Terminal-1. […] The investigations have revealed that you [Shahid Abbasi] are in possession of information/evidence regarding award of LNG Terminal-1 to M/s EETPT [a private firm] etc which relates to the commission of the said offence.”
In April this year, the federal government had imposed a travel ban on Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, and five others in the same case.
Leaders of the former ruling party are fuming at the arrest. Senior PML-N leaders including Maryam Nawaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Muhammad Zubair and others have expressed frustration over the happening.