Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in hot waters

Former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in hot waters

ISLAMABAD - Former Petroleum Minister and the former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi may land into trouble as PTI government has decided to get audit of the controversial and secret Pakistan Qatar LNG deal.

The LNG import deal with Qatar would be re-examined by experts to assess its fairness, said Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Friday.

Sarwar said serious allegations were raised about the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deal with Qatar. “These reports have been strengthened by the fact that the government kept it secret for a long time despite public pressure,” he said, stressing that the new government believes in transparency and is responsible to the public for all decisions.

“We will place the details of the deal at the petroleum ministry’s website and get experts to examine the deal to see if it was fair to the country or not,” Sarwar said, adding “there is no reason to keep the document related to import of LNG from Qatar a secret.”

Import of LNG from Qatar to meet energy shortfall has always been controversial. A plan to finalise a long-term deal in this regard fell prey to allegations and litigation during the PPP government from 2008-13. However, the previous PML-N government was able to sign a long-term contract with Qatar in 2016, but the details of the agreement were not shared even with the relevant government departments.

Government will take the case to the NAB if element of corruption, kick back or commission is found in the deal.