ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency has approved an inquiry into former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his predecessor Nawaz Sharif over a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project, the agency said on Wednesday.
The news comes less than a week after the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), founded by Sharif, finished its five-year term, handing power to a technocratic caretaker government until elections on July 25.
The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) decision, involving an unidentified terminal is one of the world’s fastest growing LNG markets, is part of a sweeping new initiative targeting senior politicians across the South Asian nation.
Abbasi, who ended PML-N’s term as premier, told Reuters he was unaware of any NAB inquiry, and nobody had contacted him.
As petroleum minister when Sharif was premier, Abbasi masterminded Pakistan’s push to embrace LNG after PML-N swept to power in a 2013 election.
In a response to Reuters, Abbasi said he took full responsibility for work at the petroleum ministry as Sharif had “no direct responsibility for the workings of my ministry”.
He added, “I welcome any inquiry by NAB or any other agency into the affairs of the ministry and I am available to cooperate with any such inquiry.”
Text messages and telephone calls to the spokesman of Sharif, who has accused the judiciary of a witch hunt against his party, received no response.