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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior vice president and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday, said that the Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin, has also said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has role in the destruction of the country.

Without naming the finance minister, he said that the finance minister was himself involved in a NAB case and came after taking NRO.

Talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) against him and others, he said that less than three weeks' time was left in the completion of tenure of the NAB's chairman but the prime minister has so far not started consultation with the opposition leader regarding appointment of a new chairman.

Even the government did not take care of directions of the Supreme Court, he said, adding that every act of the present government is based on bad intention.

About the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA), he said that the government is making laws on the basis of malicious intentions.

What kind of impression will go to the world, if the government is trying to control the media in this manner, he said?

"What you will say about a country where law was framed to control the voice of the media," he said, adding that those who want to hide something want to control the media.

He said that the PMDA has been rejected by the people of Pakistan and the international community. The PML-N leader said that the NAB has become a silent spectator on government's every scam.

One day, the NAB would be held accountable that why the NAB is silent on all scandals of the incumbent government. The present government is the most corrupt government in the history of Pakistan, he said.

About extension in tenure of the NAB chairman through an ordinance, he said that if the country could not run without a 76-years-old person then reappoint him as the NAB chairman.

To a question about President Arif Alvi's speech to the joint session of the parliament, he said that he did not hear the president's speech but it was the job of the president to place facts before the public and give recommendations to the government for improvement but unfortunately, our president is only praising the prime minister.

He said that the president did not talk about inflation, unemployment, and destruction of the media. Abbasi said that the LNG terminals regarding which case has been made against him could have given 33 percent more benefit to Pakistan but due to the LNG case this did not happen.

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before the Accountability Court-II judge, Muhammad Azam Khan. During the hearing the court completed cross-examination of prosecution witness Rizwan Mehdi chief manager and Farhan Umar.

Abbasi's counsel Barrister Zafarullah Khan conducted cross-examination of the witness, Mehdi. The witness said that the accused, Abbasi was and is not the member of the board and there are 11 members of the board. The charts he produced before the court were prepared under his supervision, he said, adding that basically these were prepared by Muhammad Danish, cross checked by Muhammad Zubair Farooq, and finally reviewed and checked by him.

He said that the Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) is a public limited company listed in the stock exchange. He said that he prepared the charts on the demand of the NAB.

To the best of my understanding, these charts were not approved by the board, he said. The court adjourned hearing of the case till September 21 after completion of cross examination of the witness by Barrister Zafrullah Khan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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