Graft probe against Pakistan’s new PM closed in December

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Islamabad, Aug 2 (IANS) An inquiry against Pakistan’s new Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, for his role in awarding a Rs 220 billion contract for the import and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2013 was closed in December, the National Accountability Bureau has said.

The 17-month-long probe was closed at the regional board meeting of the NAB on December 19 last year, despite being proven the contract had been awarded in a “non-transparent manner”, a NAB spokesman told Dawn.

According to a document, the Karachi NAB Director General had then said: “After exhaustive discussion it has been decided that it is an ongoing project and any intervention by NAB at this juncture will jeopardise the efforts of provision of LNG from the project of public/national importance. It is decided (to close the) inquiry (at) our end.”

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However, the document said “during the inquiry proceeding it has been established that management of Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), in non-transparent manner, selected M/s Engro as a successful bidder for LNG terminal at port Karachi”.

The NAB inquiry found that the SSGCL signed the 15-year contract with a subsidiary company of Engro for re-gasification of LNG at fixed daily processing charges.

The government authorised the Pakistan State Oil to procure LNG on behalf of the SSGCL.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has decided to file a petition in the Supreme Court against Abbasi.

The former Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources was a principal suspect in the NAB inquiry.



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