ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former Prime ministers Raja Pervez Ashraf and Yousuf Raza Gilani were again summoned this week by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog in a case related to the controversial appointment of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (OGRA) former chairman Tauqeer Sadiq.
“We sent fresh notices to both Raja Pervez Ashraf and Yousuf Raza Gilani last Friday,” a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) official said on Sunday.
NAB spokesman Ramzan Sajid said the two PPP leaders were expected to appear before investigators this week.
“A second notice is being sent to Yousuf Raza Gilani because he did not comply with the first one according to which he was to visit the NAB headquarters on May 30,” he said.
Under the NAB Ordinance, stern action can be taken against a person who does not comply with three notices of the bureau. Such a person may face arrest and heavy fine.
The former prime ministers are accused of contributing to the ‘illegal’ appointment of Tauqeer Sadiq, a relative of PPP leader Jehangir Badar.
Raja Pervez Ashraf appeared before the NAB investigators on May 17 and gave a brief statement. He was also given a questionnaire which he has to fill in and return by June 3.
Ashraf had sought time till June 3 and NAB would go through his reply after which it would be decided whether his name should be included in the reference filed recently in connection with the Rs22 billion rental power projects (RPPs) scam.
The NAB official said if investigators were not satisfied with Ashraf’s replies, a supplementary statement would be filed with the accountability court to include his name in the reference.
Earlier, NAB had considered Raja Pervez Ashraf as one of the main accused in the scam because the RPP contracts had been awarded with his approval in 2008 when he headed the water and power ministry.
Former OGRA chairman has been declared as a proclaimed offender as he is also a principal accused in a Rs82bn scam. He fled abroad soon after the Supreme Court declared his appointment as Ogra chief illegal on Nov 25, 2011.
The apex court has been informed that Ashraf was chairman of the interview board when Sadiq’s appointment was made. Gilani was the prime minister at the time.