Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested on Thursday by a 12-member team of Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, the National Accountability Bureau, in connection with a multi-billion-rupee case related to a liquefied natural gas import contract. Abbasi, who was on his way to a press conference in Lahore, had initially resisted the arrest but later gave in, Dawn reported.
He will be produced before an accountability court for physical remand on Friday and a medical examination will be conducted. “You are requested to appear on 18-07-2019 at 10 am at NAB [National Accountability Bureau] Islamabad before Investigation Officer Malik Zubair Ahmed, deputy director, for discussion and recording your statement being minister of petroleum and natural resources on LNG [liquefied natural gas] terminal,” the notice from the anti-corruption bureau said. “You are advised that failing with this notice may entail penal consequences as provided in serial 2 of the schedule of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.”
The investigations had revealed that Abbasi possessed information or evidence regarding the award of the contract to a private firm, “which relates to the commission of the said offence”.
Abbasi has been accused of giving a tender of Rs 220 billion [approximately Rs 94 million] to a company in which he was a shareholder, Geo News reported. “They have no case against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,” the news channel quoted former Sindh Governor and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Muhammad Zubair as saying.