KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday granted a seven-day protective bail to former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former Pakistan State Oil (PSO) CEO Sheikh Imranul Haque.
The duo had submitted a plea for pre-arrest bail earlier in the day.
On July 18, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for his alleged involvement in a case pertaining to the award of liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contracts while arrest warrants have been issued for former finance minister Miftah in the same case.
A day earlier, the anti-corruption watchdog had summoned Abbasi and Ismail in the LNG case but they skipped the hearing. The team investigating the case said that Abbasi had not answered all the questions and was continually seeking more time.
Meanwhile, NAB teams in Karachi and Islamabad were dispatched to take Miftah into custody. A team raided his Karachi residence but had to return empty-handed as he was not there.
The NAB team had to face-off with PML-N supporters after they cordoned off Ismail’s residence and tried to enter the premises.
According to the domestic help, Ismail left the house earlier in the day and his mobile phone was switched off.
Another team, accompanied by female officials, then entered the residence and questioned those at home including family members. Sources added that NAB also raided two other locations owned by Ismail family.
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.
It was registered on the complaint of a former member of the Planning Commission along with others, who accused Abbasi and Ismail of misusing their authority and causing a potential $2bn loss to the national exchequer in 15 years.