Pakistan arrests ex-prime minister on corruption allegations

Clay Curtis
July 19, 2019

He went on to make several emotional statements about his party being targeted and victimized by the accountability bureau in a press conference.

Shahid Abbasi has been arrested in a case related to a liquefied natural gas project.

The bureau is investigating alleged corruption in the award of a contract to import LNG from Qatar by Abbasi when he was minister for petroleum and natural resources in the cabinet of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Abbasi has denied the charges and said that he would prove his innocence in any court of law, PTI reported.

His arrest has drawn a furious response from opposition parties that accuse the government of trying to silence its opponents.

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Abbasi - whose Pakistan Muslim Leauge-Nawaz (PML-N) party was voted out previous year following a heated contest with former World Cup cricketer Khan - was taken in to custody in the eastern city of Lahore and set to appear in an anti-corruption court.

"The biased accountability of opposition by the selected government is unacceptable", Bilawal said.

Abbasi's PML-N already has been locked in a political dispute with the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"An elected representative is just a victim of a photocopied page of a notorious institution", she said.

According to the NAB arrest warrant, Abbasi is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9 (a) of National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. He has served as Pakistan's Prime Minister from August 2017 to May 2018. In December last year, an accountability court had handed a seven-year prison sentence to Sharif in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and imposed hefty fines. On June 10, former president Zardari was arrested by the NAB in connection with the fake accounts case.

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