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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday alleged that the main objective of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases was to change the loyalties of the politicians.

Abbasi, while talking to media after appearing before Accountability Court in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case, said that the NAB and the government has become one thing.

"NAB's people are saying we are with the government and the government ministers are saying that the NAB is controlled by them," he said, adding that the Supreme Court judgements have proved that main objectives of the NAB was to influence politics in the country and change loyalties of the politicians.

To a question about extension in Chairman NAB justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, whose four-year term is going to end on October 8, through an ordinance, said that extension of the NAB chairman through an ordinance is against the law and constitution.

"They are making laws for their personal benefits," he said, adding that if extension was granted to the present chairman, his party would move the Supreme Court (SC) against it.

Responding to a question about appointment of the current NAB chairman, he said that we had seen CV of the present chairman and he had been the Supreme Court (SC) judge.

"But unfortunately, he does not have understanding of the law," he said.

The last PML-N government had signed an agreement with Qatar for the import of cheapest LNG, which had so far benefited Pakistan of $20 billion.

"Now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is importing the gas at rates double than those agreed between the two countries under the deal," he said.

He said that the NAB has again started summoning people regarding agreement with Qatar and threatening them.

The NAB wants to establish that government officials during the PML-N government bribed by politicians for signing deal with Qatar, he said, adding that after destroying the economy of the country, the anti-graft body was now bent upon denting Pakistan's relations with the other countries.

About his case, he said that it would be better not to discuss the case as yesterday the NAB chairman expressed annoyance over the statement of the PML-N leader, Ahsan Iqbal, and the NAB might not file another case against him.

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in the LNG case.

The court marked attendance of all the accused and recorded statement of the prosecution witness, Farhan Umer.

Abbasi's counsel Barrister Zafarullah Khan crossed-examined prosecution witness Farhan Umer.

I am working as chief engineer in the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) in the LNG department since2016, Umer said to a question asked by Abbasi's counsel. Umer said that he has not signed his statement made before Malik Zubair Ahmed, investigation officer (IO) NAB. The court adjourned hearing of the case till today (Wednesday).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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