ISLAMABAD: The Acco­un­tability Court of Islama­bad on Friday extended the judicial remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister Miftah Ismail for 14 days in the LNG terminal case.

The judge directed the authorities concerned to produce them in court on Oct 28.

Mr Abbasi, while leaving the court, told journalists that there was no corruption charges against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and accused the government of seeking political revenge through fake cases.

Ex-PM accuses govt of seeking political revenge through fake cases

“The state is becoming dishonest with people,” Mr Abbasi said.

He claimed that retired bureaucrats were being pressured to become approver in cases against PML-N leaders. “We will continue to bear this injustice, but it will not be manageable for the ruling party,” he said.

In reply to a question about the Azadi March planned by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, he said that decision on participation in the anti-government protest would be taken by the party leadership.

Mr Abbasi is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for an LNG terminal against rules when he was petroleum minister in the previous PML-N government, led by Nawaz Sharif.

Earlier on Sept 26, the accountability court had rejected the NAB’s request to extend physical remand of Mr Abbasi and Mr Ismail.

Mr Abbasi also filed a statement before the court in which he said he was being victimised because of his political affiliation.

“I stand before you as an accused and detenu, and after 70 days NAB is still investigating my ‘crimes’. Is this justice?” the former premier had asked judge Mohammad Bashir in the statement.

“This was all simply to pressurise, threaten, coerce, intimidate, vilify and make some case, any case! Is this accountability, or victimisation, political vendetta and misuse of government institution or intimidating and demonising political opponents into submission and settling scores?” he wondered.

Referring to a statement of Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, he said: “What is transpiring in Pakistan today is a fact of political engineering through NAB that the Chief Justice of Pakistan talked about…the practice here has become that if the government is afraid of somebody, then start a media trial against him, set up an inquiry/investigation [committee], threaten to file NAB cases, malign him, arrest him, insult his character and integrity, take away his liberty and dignity and start looking for evidence.”

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2019