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ISLAMABAD: Senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday, said that an explanation has been sought from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) for violating unanimous decision of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

“The PDM has just sought an explanation from them for breaking the alliance and this was not a legal action,” said Abbasi, while talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case against him and others. He said that the PPP has broken the trust of the alliance.

To a question about a leaked video of the chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he said that the government has been blackmailing the NAB chairman because it possesses a leaked video of him. The same matter was also discussed at the floor of the National Assembly on April 5, he said. He said that a woman had posted a complaint on the Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP) alleging harassment to her and her family by the NAB chairman but the issue has been brushed under the carpet. On the other hand, if any other person writes something wrong or right on the portal, then the government officers take swift action and conduct inquiries, he said.

Abbasi said that the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, New York, is the property of Pakistan and it is important to inform the public about the truth related to it. The government should at least inform the public either the Roosevelt Hotel worth Rs200 billion is still Pakistan’s property or not or any court order issued against it.

He said that one of the main jobs of the NAB was to defame politicians and to destroy the country’s affairs.

Today every person is saying that either run the NAB or the country, he said.

Earlier, he appeared before Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in the LNG case against him and others. The court marked the attendance of Abbasi and all the co-accused.

At the start of the hearing, Abbasi’s counsel Barrister Zafarullah Khan told the court that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued a notification following the increase in the coronavirus cases in the country under which only emergency cases will be heard.

At this, the judge said that the Accountability Court has so far not received such directions. Coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in the country and his brother was also admitted, he said.

Khan further told the court that the last time directives had been issued to the district court to do 50 percent work. At this, the judge said that we neither received any direction the last time nor any now. The judge advised the defence counsel to wear a mask and nothing will happen. Defence counsel Manwar Iqbal requested the court to adjourn the hearing this week as life is more important. Now you have arrived in the court; therefore, it would be better to start proceedings, the judge said.

The NAB prosecutor, Usman Mirza, while objecting to the defence counsel’s request said that the prosecution witness is present in the courtroom, and start his cross-examination.

Later, Manwar Iqbal counsel for Agha Jan Akhtar conducted cross-examination of a witness, Hassan Bhatti, an assistant director at the Ministry of Petroleum.

The counsel for other co-accused will cross-examine the witness during the next hearing to be held on April 13th.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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