Corruption of 200 Billion has been reported by NAB’s initial investigation report about the LNG terminal contract. The report also suggests that petroleum minister (now Prime Minister of Pakistan) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is involved to a certain extent.
We don’t know why but Prime Minister of Pakistan (now ex PM), Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has crippled us for next 15 years through this Pak-Qatar LNG deal. It’s not an investment by Qatar government in Pakistan. We’re buying LNG from them. Just like we buy anything from any country. It’s not a donation from Qatar or something, we’re paying them for LNG. Now how are we buying it from them? or what are the contract terms? We’ve signed an agreement with them of 15 years and this agreement can not be cancelled or modified for next 10 years. Like when we get into an agreement of sale or purchase with someone & at some point of time, we reconsider the contract terms to change something in it, we probably would pay some fine or cancellation fee & the contract will be no more or changed as per the new agreement. But, in this case of LNG contract, we, the buyers, have no right to request any kind of modification. For next 10 years, we’ll can not review this agreement with Qatar.
Now, what is this agreement? Before getting into details, it’s important to understand how such deals work; Qatar is the seller of LNG, Pakistan is the buyer. In Pakistan, we’ve OGRA (Oil & Gas Regulation Authority) that monitors such petroleum product deals & under OGRA, we’ve three companies to import LNG:
- Pakistan State Oil (PSO)
- Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC)
- Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL)
PSO is purchasing LNG from Qatar & transporting (importing) it to Pakistan. The expense of transporting LNG from Qatar to Pakistan is USD $750,000 per ship. The issue is not of the rate at which Pakistan is buying LNG from Qatar. It’s of the LNG terminal contract awarded to a private company.
The LNG terminal contract states that Pakistan government will pay the terminal contract holding company USD $272,000 per day, regardless of getting LNG from Qatar or not. This is the corruption allegations on Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that Sheikh Rasheed talks about.