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Why are cabinet ministers displeased with SAPM Nadeem Babar?

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on energy Nadeem Babar has furnished his clarification on petroleum products. Why are ministers so displeased?

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Federal interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said Thursday energy secretary Nadeem Babar has furnished his clarification on petroleum products and while many cabinet members expressed anger over him, he was satisfied.

Talking in ARY News program Eleventh Hour, the newly appointed interior minister said many people of the federal cabinet were not pleased with how Special Assistant to Prime Minister on energy Nadeem Babar tried to defend his position.

On the other hand, discussing the present political situation of Pakistan in the back drop of opposition’s threats of en masse resignations to derail the government, he said, referring to opposition alliance, their threats of resignations are not an atom bomb but a mere cracker.

He said, referring to Pakistan Democratic Movement’s rallies and demands, he still thinks a reconciliation will emerge in a month or two but if does not, PMLN will lose many of its members as they will desert the party.

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They say they do not want to negotiate with the Prime Minister, Rasheed noted asking whom do they want to speak with then?

Imran Khan will give up his seat but will not allow them an NRO, he reiterated.

What is NRO?

On October 5, 2007, the-then Pakistani President and Army Chief, General Pervez Musharraf, had enforced the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which had granted amnesty to politicians, political workers, and bureaucrats who were accused of corruption, money laundering, murders, and terrorism etc between January 1, 1986, and October 12, 1999 — the time between two Martial Law stints in Pakistan.

The NRO came into existence just 40 days before the stipulated five-year tenure of the PML-Q was supposed to end.

The NRO was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on December 16, 2009, but not before it had benefited 8,041 allegedly tainted people, including 34 politicians and three ambassadors.

Who is Nadeem Babar?

It is worth mentioning here that Babar has declared assets of more than Rs2.75 billion and also holds US citizenship. He has businesses in Pakistan and abroad.

The SAPM has immovable property worth Rs129,764,250, a house in Houston, USA, total business capital of Rs2,153,119,451 in Pakistan, business capital of Rs137,790,063 outside Pakistan, Rs297,418,610 cash and bank accounts, prize bonds, and saving accounts having Rs166,196,807 among other things; making the grand total assets worth Rs2,752,812,874.

Nadeem Babar is a major player of energy sector and still holds the shares of Orient Power— an independent power producer (IPP).

According to a report published in The News, the Orient Operating Company Private Limited is an affiliate of the Orient Group and operates in the energy sector i.e. power generation and oil exploration. The company is also a joint venture partner in oil and gas consortium comprising partners that include Pyramid Pakistan Petroleum Inc, Orient Operating Company Private Limited, RDC International Private Limited, Nativus Resource Limited and Paige Limited.

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The Orient Power is the biggest defaulter of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL). However, his appointment has also put the integrity and credibility of the prime minister on spot. The Orient Power, which was earlier owned by Babar Nadeem, in which he still has a substantial volume of shares, is the biggest defaulter of SNGPL causing a surge in the circular debt of the gas company, reported The News.

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