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Pakistan’s new envoy to US Jahangir Siddiqui summoned by NAB in embezzlement case

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador-designate to the United States Ali Jahangir Siddiqui at its Lahore-based office on March 22 for questioning over allegations of embezzlement, ARY News reported.

According to the NAB, Siddiqui has been summoned for a grilling session with Combined Investigation Team (CIT) on corruption allegations.

Siddiqui has been accused of causing losses worth Rs 40 billion to various financial and government institutions.

The NAB investigators will interrogate Siddiqui when he served as director of investment firm Azgard Nine Ltd. He is accused of selling shares of another company named Agritech Ltd through Azgard Nine to numerous financial and government institutions at higher prices than market price to settle the loan defaults of the company.

Siddiqui has been appointed as Pakistan’s new envoy in Washington after retirement of former foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhary as ambassador to the Washington last month. He is scheduled to assume his responsibilities next month.

In August 2017, Siddiqui was appointed as a special assistant to the premier with the status of a state minister. He is the son of the famous banker and businessman, Jahangir Siddiqui.

He holds some public sector experience after he served as a member of the Privatisation Commission, a member of the Private Sector Advisory Board of the Planning Commission, a member of the Sindh Board of Investment, and as a member of the Community Development Board of the Government of Sindh.

Siddiqui’s appointment challenged

On March 9, a petition was filed in the the Lahore High Court (LHC) against appointment of prime minister’s special assistant Ali Jhangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the US.

The petitioner had adopted a stance that the appointment was made without consulting the federal cabinet.

The petition contended that the appointee didn’t have the prerequisite experience to serve as an ambassador to the US, hence the court should immediately declare Siddiqui’s appointment as null and void.

The court was moved a day after Siddiqui was appointed as the country’s new ambassador to the United States on March 8.

Ali Jahangir has served as a director in Airblue, Lucky Cement, Azgard Nine along with several other companies. In 2014, he was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.



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