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Hearing of LNG reference adjourned due to lawyers’ strike

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court in Islamabad has adjourned the hearing of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) reference against former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others due to lawyers’ strike, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

During the hearing, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other accused appeared before the accountability court. However, the hearing was adjourned due to the strike being observed by the lawyers.

While talking to journalists outside the court building, Abbasi criticised that no progress was made in the case for 2.5 years.

To a question, Abbasi expressed hopes that the opposition parties will get success in the upcoming Senate elections. “Lawmakers know it that they will not get succeeded on the PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf] ticket. We are hoping for the victory of our [Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)] joint candidate Yousaf Raza Gillani.”

The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president said that the Parliament will decide on a secret ballot in Senate polls after the issuance of a detailed verdict by the Supreme Court (SC). He added that the top court has asked to ensure transparency in the Senate polls besides directing for the secret voting.

LNG reference

Ex-PM Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, former managing director of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imranul Haq, ex-chairperson of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Uzma Adil and others are named in the reference.

On November 16, the court had indicted all the accused. They pleaded not guilty and opted to contest the charges. Subsequently, the court directed the NAB prosecution to furnish evidence to back up the allegations against them.

Abbasi is accused of awarding LNG Terminal-I contract to a firm at Port Qasim Karachi, at exorbitant rates.

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