LAHORE: Shahbaz Gill, chief of staff to PTI chairman Imran Khan, has accused former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of taking a bribe from an Indian company when he was the petroleum minister in the cabinet of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, a charge denied by Mr Abbasi.

Talking to the media at Chief Minister Secretariat on Sunday, Mr Gill alleged that Mr Abbasi took a Rs140 million bribe from the Indian firm as a consultancy fee and the money was transferred to his bank account in three transactions, one in December 2016 and two in January 2017.

Mr Gill said he and Mr Abbasi had accounts with the same bank and demanded that details of both accounts be put before the public.

He claimed that Mr Abbasi had tried to give the impression of being an upright person as prime minister, but this was far from reality.

Responding to Mr Gill’s allegations, Mr Abbasi challenged the PTI leader to take the matter to a court of law if he had evidence.

In a statement from Islamabad, the former premier said the PTI and its “mudslinging brigade” had been ruling the country for four years and instituted two cases against him.

Mr Abbasi urged his political opponent to petition a court to file yet another case against him and present the “so-called evidence”.

During his press conference, Mr Gill also told reporters that PTI chief Imran Khan was briefed about the relief efforts to help flood victims in Punjab and the progress made on the Ehsaas social safety and poverty alleviation programme.

He said that the PTI chairman would also meet party lawmakers from six Punjab divisions separately to discuss party affairs and a strategy for the next general election.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2022

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