Pakistan makes two arrests in LNG contract graft investigation

By Ismail Dilawar on 8/9/2019

KARACHI (Bloomberg) - Pakistan’s anti-graft agency arrested former finance minister Miftah Ismail as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s crackdown on political leaders allegedly involved in corruption.

Ismail was detained by the officials of the National Accountability Bureau in Islamabad, the capital, for alleged corruption in giving an LNG contract, according to a statement by the agency on Wednesday. The minister took charge of the south Asian nation’s finances after former minister Ishaq Dar was dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2017.

Sheikh Imran ul Haque, the former Chief Executive of state-owned retailer - Pakistan State Oil Ltd. - was also arrested in the same case, it said.

A senior politician of the biggest opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party, Ismail was arrested following his chief and former thrice premier Nawaz Sharif, who is already serving a 10-year jail sentence after being convicted by an anti-graft court. Another ex-premier of the party, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested last month and is being probed for alleged corruption.

Asif Ali Zardari, the former president and the co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party - the second biggest opposition group, was detained in June on allegations of owning fake bank accounts. The opposition leaders deny any wrong doing and say Khan, with the help of power military, is hounding the opponents using state agencies.

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