NAB goes after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over misuse of authority

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News Analysis |

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has reportedly approved the initiation of two investigations against former premier and the leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for his alleged misuse of their power which caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

According to media reports, an Executive Board Meeting (EBM) of the bureau was chaired by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal in which a green signal was given to probe the former PM, along with ex-petroleum and natural resources minister Arshad Mirza, former petroleum secretary Sheikh Imran-ul-Haq, former managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Yaqoob Sattar, and others.

The contractor, officers/officials and former secretaries of Sindh’s Irrigation Department and Local government Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Workers Welfare Board.

It is pertinent to mention here that the accountability watchdog has clarified that Mr. Abbasi will be probed regarding his tenure as an ex-petroleum minister. Moreover, in June 2018, the NAB approved the initiation of an inquiry against Mr. Abbasi and Mr. Nawaz Sharif over alleged misuse of power regarding a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project, the agency said.

Read more: NAB is a black law: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

The bureau had given a go-ahead to the probe against Nawaz, Abbasi and others “for granting a 15-year contract of LNG terminal to a company of their liking in violation of rules and by misuse of their powers, which caused national exchequer a loss of billions of rupees”.

In its last meeting the EBM also reportedly accorded approval to conduct 20 inquiries against various personalities including former National Assembly member Mian Imtiaz, former Sindh home minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, former Sindh local government minister Jam Khan Shoro, Sindh lawmaker Abdul Jabbar Khan, Mehran Cooperative Housing Society Chairman Amanullah Siyal, Ali Usman of Stock Brokerage, former attorney general Justice (r) Malik Muhammad Qayyum, and former information technology ministry secretary Farooq Ahmad Awan.

Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for his alleged misuse of their power which caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

The contractor, officers/officials and former secretaries of Sindh’s Irrigation Department and Local government Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Workers Welfare Board and others were also named in the inquiries.

Read more: SC summons Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as NAB probes petrol prices

NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal said the bureau believes in “corruption-free Pakistan [by] strictly pursuing the policy of Accountability for All”. “NAB believes eradication of corruption as its national responsibility. All resources are being utilised to take mega corruption cases to logical conclusion. NAB’s priority is to eliminate corruption, arresting proclaimed offenders and making them answerable,” he added.

The NAB is working independently and probing into many high profile cases. The government has clarified more than once that it is not influencing the watchdog in either way.

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