LAHORE: An accountability court on Saturday remanded Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Sibtain Khan in custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for 10 days in a case of alleged corruption in awarding a contract for extracting precious minerals in Chiniot.

Khan had tendered resignation as Punjab minister for forest, wildlife and fisheries after the NAB had arrested him on Friday. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar accepted it on Saturday.

The NAB alleged that Khan, a lawmaker from Mianwali, violated laws and awarded a multi-billion contract to a firm of his choice namely Earth Resource Private Limited (ERPL) during 2007 when he was minister for mines and minerals in the PML-Q government.

The bureau stated that the company that was given the contract had a paid-up capital of Rs2.5 million only and also lacked the experience required for the project. The company was not even registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Sibtain Khan signed the agreement ignoring the laws.

The NAB presented the former minister before court and sought his physical remand for 15 days to complete investigation.

However, the court granted the NAB 10-day remand of the suspect and directed it to produce him again on June 25.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2019