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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday that the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will further increase inflation in the country.

Talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case, he said that the agreement made with Saudi Arabia may also increase inflation in the country. About audit report on Covid-19 expenditure, Abbasi said that Rs 42 billion corruption has surfaced in Covid-19 relief package.

“The government has tried to hide the audit report about corruption in Covid-19 package,” he said, adding that despite, passage of one week of release of audit report about corruption in Covid-19 relief package, the chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has taken no action.

Former premier said that around four ministries of government were involved in corruption in Covid-19 relief package. The government has sold substandard ghee and other edibles at the Utility Stores, he said. To a question, he said that transparent and immediate elections are the only solution to the problems of the country.

He said that the recently-promulgated NAB ordinances will expire next month but the government is making efforts to grant extension to the NAB chairman as currently he is working on daily wages. Responding to a query about the PML-N vice president, Maryam Nawaz’s audio leak, he said that legal action should be taken against her if she had violated any law.

He also said that no one is ready to talk about the person (former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar), who “violated” the constitution and who is himself former chief justice of Pakistan. 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 allowed them to leave. The court, after completing arguments over former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Uzma Adil Khan’s acquittal application under recently-promulgated National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, reserved its judgement.

Later, the court, while announcing its reserved judgment, rejected co-accused Ameen Rajpoot and Uzma Adil Khan’s acquittal applications. According to the court order, the prosecution should continue trial of the LNG case and the NAB should produce more witnesses during the next hearing to be held on December 7.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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