ISLAMABAD, Mar 15 (APP):Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Friday said that former prime minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had approved the contract of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) showing favouritism towards the parties involved in the contract.

Talking to media here at National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the minister said Shahid Khaqan played significant role in awarding contract to import LNG which inflicted billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.

Sheikh Rashid said the previous government had intentionally made expensive contract to import LNG from Qatar, adding that he was ready for rendering cooperation to the NAB in this scandal.

The minister said during the tenure of the previous government of PML-N not a single advancement was made in the field of oil and gas and it just befooled the nation.

He said the contract was awarded for US $ 2,72,000 instead of US $ 1,00,000. “During the process it was shown that the agreement had been made between two countries whereas one company had been set up in Pakistan and the other
in Qatar,” the minister mentioned.

Sheikh Rashid said the incumbent government was taking concrete measures to address the energy crisis prevailing in the country. So, there was no option left for
the government but to increase gas tariff, he added.

“My case regarding LNG scandal is very simple and straight. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been making extraordinary efforts to improve the poor economic situation caused by the corruption of the families of Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif,” he added.

The minister underscored that he would like to remind Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that Sheikh Rashid did not have lust for any Ministry.

To a question, Sheikh Rashid said that the nation would hear good news during this month regarding Pakistan Railways which was the cheapest source of transportation for general public.

He said that the government had formed a three members committee including Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid on Main Line-I (ML-I) project from Karachi to Peshawar.

The minister said the development work on ML-I would be started soon in three phases which was initiated 14years ago.

Sheikh Rashid said he had already informed that there was going to be a wipe out in March which was delayed due to Pak-India tension and now it would be done
in May-June.

The minister said that if Asif Zardari and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were not punished today then the nation would have to pay the price for their plundering of national exchequer.