Islamabad, August 1: Moments after Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was elected as 18th Prime Minister of Pakistan, the charges of corruption also hit the headline on Tuesday. Before becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Abbasi was serving as Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources. He is accused of awarding Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) import contract to some private companies which led to the loss of $2 billion USD to the national exchequer, a report of National Accountability Bureau said.
Apart from Abbasi, other suspects include former petroleum secretary Abid Saeed, Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) managing director Mobin Saulut, private firm Engro’s chief executive officer Emranul Haq and the Sui Southern Gas Company’s (SSGC) ex-MD Zuhair Ahmed Siddiqui. [Read: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Replaces Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister of Pakistan]
On Tuesday, report that appeared in Pak based newspaper The Dawn stated,”the contract for the LNG import and distribution was awarded to the Elengy Terminal, a subsidiary of Engro, in 2013 in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws.”
The report further stated, “the case was registered on the complaint of Shahid Sattar, an energy expert and former member of the Planning Commission and the SSGC board of directors, along with others, accusing Mr Abbasi of misusing his authority and causing a potential $2bn loss to the national exchequer in 15 years.”
National Accountability Bureau documents revealed Abbasi and other accused were recommended for Exit Control list. Exit Control List ensures no accused can leave the geographical boundaries of the country.
Abbasi will be heading the government for next 45 days till Shehbaz Sharif is elected to serve the government. Sharif, presently Chief Minister of Pakistan’s most populous state Punjab is the brother of Nawaz Sharif who was disqualified by the Supreme Court to be a member of the national assembly.