News Desk |
On Monday, The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordered an investigation into billions-worth corruption cases charged against former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case for causing unprecedented losses to the national exchequer.
The decision was taken during an Executive Board Meeting of the NAB, chaired by President Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal, who ordered the authorities to proceed towards the next phase of the investigations against former premier Khaqan Abbasi in the LNG Case.
Executive Board Meeting of the NAB had ordered two investigations filed against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, for misappropriation of petroleum and natural resources during his tenure as former minister.
The investigations ordered against the former premier also include officials of the interior and foreign ministries, Inter State Gas System, Sui Southern Gas Company, GM National Fertilizer, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), Pakistan Limited, Irrigation Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Saleem Makti, Thanubola Khan, Integrated Water Resource Management, railway division officials and officers of Jamshoro district amongst others.
The NAB Chairman stated that the accountability watchdog will undertake proceedings in mega corruption cases with emphasis on logical investigations. As per the NAB procedures, a complaint is registered, which is then verified and if corruption allegations are substantiated during this process, an inquiry is launched, and an investigation is undertaken to file a reference.
The EBM also authorized approval for closing investigations filed against the management officials of the Punjab Infrastructure Company, management committee on the Sahiwal Capital Market Management, PIAC, provincial food department, along with former DIG Larkana, customs officials and others. These investigations are being closed due to lack of evidence.
Khaqan Abbasi Nabbed
A press release by the NAB noted, “The Executive Board Meeting ordered six investigations against former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, along with former minister for petroleum and natural resources, officers of the interior and foreign ministries, management officials of the Sui Southern Gas Company, Eliengy Terminal Pakistan Limited, Interstate Gas System and others.”
In March, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appeared before the financial watchdog with regards to the LNG case, following which the NAB recommended the authorities to impose a travel embargo on him.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordered an investigation into billions-worth corruption cases charged against former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case.
On 2nd Jan, an Executive Board Meeting of the NAB had ordered two investigations filed against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, for misappropriation of petroleum and natural resources during his tenure as former minister. One of these references involves his involvement in non-uniformities in imports of LNG, while the second is related to the Naeemudin Khan’s appointment as the President of the Bank of Punjab.
The PML-N leader has, time and again, stated that he is not guilty of undertaking any illegal action in authorizing contracts for LNG imports, and is willing to “prove his innocence” at any platform. He stressed that LNG imports were necessary for the country back in 2013 due the significant shortage of gas.
Official reports reveal that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, alongside Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, is equally responsible for illegally awarding LNG import contracts of 15 different companies chosen at their preferences.
Read more: The LNG scam?
Former premier Nawaz Sharif has also been held accountable for the personal use of 34 bulletproof vehicles, which were procured from Germany for the foreign delegations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). These vehicles were purchased without paying import duties, and Nawaz Sharif is accused of using them for his personal use.
The NAB has also approved an investigation against former Sindh Minister Jam Khan Shoro for holding assets beyond his professional capacity. Speaking to officials at the Executive Board Meeting, NAB Chairman Justice Javed Iqbal noted that NAB has succeeded in recovering Rs326 billion, which have been submitted to the national exchequer.
Read more: LNG Accord: Are Pak-Qatar ties in danger?
The NAB Chairman stressed that corruption is a scourge of depravedness, and the most significant challenge to Pakistan’s economic development. Justice (r) Javed Iqbal assured that National Accountability Bureau will work to ensure all mega-corruption cases filed against the ruling elite to meet their logical end.