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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is facing a new reference for his involvement in an allegedly illegal publicity campaign that caused a loss of Rs128 million to the national exchequer in 2011.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a reference in the accountability court in Islamabad against Mr Gilani, former principal information officer (PIO) of the Press Information Department (PID) Muhammad Saleem, former secretary in the Ministry of Information Technology Farooq Awan, former chief executive officer of the Universal Services Fund (USF) Riaz Asher Siddiqui, the CEO of the advertising agency, USF’s former company secretary Syed Hasan Shikoh and former PA to PRO IT Muhammad Hanif for allegedly misusing their authority in the publicity campaign and causing the loss to the exchequer.

Mr Gilani is also facing some other NAB cases and another reference filed against him and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in 2014 related to allegedly illegal appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq as chairman of the Oil & and Gas Regulatory Authority.

According to NAB, on Dec 28, 2011 former PM Gilani, who also held the positions of minister for information technology and USF chairman, directed the USF board to run a media campaign for highlighting achievements of USF.

It said Mr Awan allegedly misused his authority and violated rules in award of publicity campaign to the advertising agency.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2018