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Pakistan’s former finance minister Miftah Ismail arrested

Posted in S. Asia

Published on August 11, 2019 with No Comments

Pakistan’s opposition party leader Miftah Ismail was arrested by anti-graf body NAB

Former finance minister of Pakistan Miftah Ismail was arrested by the country’s anti-graft body National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after his pre-arrest bail was rejected by the Islamabad High Court. Ismail, who served as federal finance minister during former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s tenure, is wanted by NAB in connection with an inquiry which also involved former minister for petroleum and natural resources and others regarding illegal award of LNG Terminal-1 to Engro Energy Terminal Private Limited. Ismail is leader of Pakistan Muslim League (N) led by Nawaz Sharif who is also currently behind bars on corruption charges. The bail application submitted by former managing director of Pakistan State Oil Sheikh Imranul Haque was also rejected.

IHC Chief Justice Justice Athar Minallah, who was heading a two-judge bench that heard the former finance minister’s application, stated that the Supreme Court had set a standard for granting bail in NAB cases.“Bail in NAB cases can only be given in cases of hardship,” the judge ruled, rejecting Ismail’s petition.A NAB team took Ismail and Haque into custody soon after the verdict and they were taken away.

Haider Waheed, the lawyer representing Ismail, questioned why NAB wanted to arrest Ismail despite his cooperation in the investigation.“NAB wants to arrest my client due to political reasons,” he said.

The lawyer stated that when the deal for the LNG supply was being finalised, Ismail was working as a non-executive director of the Sui Southern Gas Company.He said the initial negotiations to purchase LNG from Qatar had already been done by the time Ismail took charge of his office.The country did not import LNG at exorbitant rates during Ismail’s tenure, Waheed argued.

 

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