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Ex-Pak PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held in graft case

Lahore, July 18 Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on corruption charges related to the awarding of a contract to a liquified natural gas firm.

Abbasi was taken into police custody after his vehicle was stopped on entry to the eastern city of Lahore on Thursday

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader was on his way to attend a press conference, accompanied by party leader Ahsan Iqbal and spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, when he was arrested from the Lahore toll plaza.

The former Premier is facing the accusation of handing over a tender worth Rs 220 billion in 2013 to a company in which he was a shareholder himself. At the time, he was the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

Abbasi is also named in the Exit Control List (ECL). He is the latest high-profile member of the opposition PML-N party to be arrested in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “accountability” drive.

According to the watchdog’s arrest warrant, Abbasi is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9 (a) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, also facing cases by NAB, condemned the arrest, stating that the anti-graft body was being used for “political victimization”.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and party leader Maryam Nawaz tweeted: “Another Prime Minister appointed by your votes arrested. Will this injustice, insult be faced by those elected by your votes.”

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