LNG deal with Qatar akin to destroying Sui Southern Gas, claims Sh Rasheed


–Says Safdar’s tirade ‘full of filth

ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed on Wednesday said the government’s lack of courage to import gas from Iran resulted in the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar that is akin to putting an end to Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

Speaking to journalists at National Press Club, Islamabad, the AML chief alleged Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was involved in corruption of nearly Rs200 billion in the deal made with Qatar. He said he would soon present the LNG deal’s details before the National Assembly speaker so that action could be taken against him, adding that “I will reveal details of the LNG contract with Qatar,” which he obtained by visiting three countries.

In February 2016, Pakistan’s then petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi signed the $1 billion annual LNG supply deal with Qatar, under which Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Limited is to sell LNG from 2016 to 2031 to Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reportedly faced a 17-month-long NAB enquiry in relation to the corruption of Rs220 billion during 2013. However, the NAB cleared the former petroleum minister of any involvement in the case.

The AML had also filed a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan against the incumbent PM last month.

The AML chief said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should both be removed, adding that even the International Monetary Fund and World Bank do not accept Ishaq Dar as a credible finance minister.

Ishaq Dar was recently indicted by an accountability court in a NAB corruption reference.

Safdar’s tirade ‘full of filth’

During his press conference, the AML chief lambasted the PML-N lawmaker retired Capt Safdar for his tirade against persecuted Ahmadi community, saying his speech was “full of filth”.

On Tuesday, ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law accused the said sect of acting against the interest of Pakistan and demanded a complete ban on their recruitment in the state institutions.

Safdar’s provocative speech caused a public uproar on social media with people demanding silence of fellow lawmakers and the inability of state institutions to act against the hate speech.