Abbasi faces supplementary reference in LNG terminal case

Updated 07 Aug 2020

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NAB claims then petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi awarded contract on exorbitant rates. — AFP/File
NAB claims then petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi awarded contract on exorbitant rates. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday filed a supplementary reference in the Islamabad High Court against PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, his son Abdullah Khaqan Abbasi and some other people.

According to NAB, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was involved in the award of LNG Terminal-I to M/s EETPL at Port Qasim, Karachi, at exorbitant rates.

It has been claimed in the reference that Mr Abbasi got cancelled the Fast Track LNG Project — Integrated System — from the Economic Coordination Committee on June 27, 2013, and awarded the LNG Terminal-1 contract to M/s EETPL.

The reference said that one LNG company had received benefits worth billions of rupees because of the contract. Therefore, the exchequer would suffer a loss of Rs47 billion by 2029 if the contract in question continues.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is accused of awarding the 15-year contract for the LNG Terminal-I against rules when he was petroleum minister in the cabinet of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The case was closed by NAB in 2016, but reopened in 2018.

NAB claims then petroleum minister awarded contract on exorbitant rates

Other accused nominated in the reference were Miftah Ismail, Sheikh Imranul Haq, Saeed Ahmed Khan, Uzma Adil Khan, Hussain Dawood, Abdul Samad Dawood, Agha Jan Akhtar, Aamir Naseem, Shahid M. Islam, Abdul Sammad, Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam, Phillip Nutman and Shana Sadiq.

The bureau arrested Shahid Khaq­­an Abbasi in July last year and he remained behind bars for about 200 days and was released on bail on the order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

An IHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah had in the order granting bail to Mr Haq, the former managing director of Pakistan State Oil, said the LNG reference was a classic case of violation of fundamental rights.

NAB informed the court that the Rawalpindi directorate of the bureau had previously filed an interim reference against Mr Abbasi and others and requested the court to treat contents of the interim reference as an integral part of the supplementary reference.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2020