ISLAMABAD, Sept 30: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told the Turkish government that it has to wait for the decision of an accountability court for the return of Turkish powership Karkey, which has been help up at Karachi because of the litigation.

Karkey was part of the PPP government’s rental power projects (RPPs) and came to Pakistan in 2009.

Inside sources said that the RPPs issue, with reference to Karkey, came under discussion during the prime minister’s visit to Turkey two weeks ago.

The Turkish government expressed concern over the reference of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the RPPs, including the Turkish firm, and asked Mr Sharif to play his role in sorting out the matter.

According to a source in the PML-N, Mr Sharif told Turkish leaders that as the matter is in court he cannot interfere in it.

The PPP government awarded contracts to 12 firms — both national and international — to provide electricity on rental basis in 2009.

The plan was wrapped up after it turned controversial due to allegation of kickbacks and commission in the deals.

The PPP government had allowed two out of four Turkish ships to return to their country, but the Supreme Court’s intervention held them back.

On Oct 30 last year NAB and the Turkish firm reached an agreement which allowed the company to leave the country after paying Rs1.62 billion.

However, the Supreme Court rejected the agreement and directed NAB to recover $120 million (Rs11.4 billion) from the Turkish company.

Ramzan Sajid, a NAB spokesman, told Dawn that all the four Turkish ships were still anchored at Port Qasim.

He said the ships would remain in the country till a decision was taken by the court.

One RPP reference had been sent to an accountability court and two references had been finalised, but could not be sent to the court because it required approval of NAB chairman and the post had been vacant since May 28, he added.

It has been learnt that NAB has served a notice for the payment of $120 million on the Turkish company, in addition to an earlier notice of Rs1.62 billion.

Karkey has sent a notice to the Ministry of Water and Power as well as NAB, informing them that it is going to seek international arbitration against the recovery of money from it in the RPPs case.

In March the Turkish company moved the World Bank-affiliated ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes) against Pakistan for not allowing it to move out its ships from the port and for alleged breach Article VII of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) inked on March 16, 1995.

The NAB has to recover $120 million from the firm in the Rs22 billion RPPs case. Nine companies, including Karkey, were accused of taking advance payment from the Pakistan government for installation of power plants, but they had failed to provide electricity to the national grid within the stipulated time, causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.