LNG case: SHC approves protective bail of ex-minister Miftah Ismail

Web Desk – (Syed Ahad Hussain)

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday granted PML-N leader Miftah Ismail seven-day protective bail, a day after National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Javed Iqbal signed his arrest warrant.

Earlier on Friday, Ismail submitted a bail application at the SHC, a copy of which was received by Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro’s staff.

Ismail’s counsel, Advocate Haider Waheed, said that the case was based in Islamabad and requested protective bail so that the PML-N leader could contact the relevant court.

While accepting his application for bail, the SHC also ordered Ismail to submit surety of Rs500,000.

In an informal conversation with media outside SHC, the former finance minister said there was no need for NAB to conduct raids, adding that he had received notices after 3 pm yesterday. Whenever the accountability bureau had summoned him, he had appeared before it, he added.

A NAB team was also present at the SHC premises today, where Ismail and former managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imranul Haque, for whom arrest warrants were also issued, appeared.

Haque, along with Ismail, was also granted seven-day protective bail and ordered to submit surety of Rs500,000.

Hours after the arrest of the former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in LNG case, NAB team had raided Ismail’s residence in Karachi’s DHA but returned empty-handed as the ex-minister was not found at home.

Though there was no word from NAB officials about the motive behind the raid and its link with Abbasi’s arrest, a senior leader of the PML-N, Mohammad Zubair, said that personnel of the anti-graft watchdog had searched Miftah’s residence.

Zubair said, “I went to his [Miftah’s] house when I came to know that there were NAB officials outside the residence,” adding, “At around 6:30 pm NAB officials with women personnel went inside his house and carried out a detailed search. He was not there. He has not been in contact with his family or any PML-N member as his phone has remained switched off since the afternoon. We and his family are concerned about him and no one yet knows his whereabouts.”

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