Pakistan reluctant to make LNG deal public: report | Pakistan Today

Pakistan reluctant to make LNG deal public: report

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is reluctant not only to make the LNG terminal accord public but also to discuss it in the parliament, a local news agency said Friday.

In case the issue was brought under discussion in the parliament, this would be tantamount to violation of agreement, the report added.

A delegation had recently visited Pakistan to cater to this issue, the report said, adding that the Qatari government wanted the Pakistani side to implement the agreement.

It was claimed that the visiting delegation had assured of complete cooperation in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega projects. The Qatari authorities, according to the report, also hinted at a large-scale investment in Pakistan.

During 2013, then petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi entered into an agreement with Qatar government which was alleged of being in complete violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) laws. The contract was awarded to a private company namely Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL) for 15 years instead of national bodies like SSGCL and SNGPL, thus going against the general rules and regulations.

The PTI had reportedly raised its voice against the agreement, however, the matter was brushed under the carpet, they said.

Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, after taking over the ministry, announced to review and make public this agreement.

The report further said that the Pakistani government was mulling over the offers made by the visiting delegation of the Qatar government.

SECRET CLAUSES OF LNG DEAL NOT TO BE MADE PUBLIC:

Contrary to its previous claims, the PTI government has now decided that it will not public the secret clauses of the LNG deal with Qatar, the report said, adding that in case of violation, Pakistan can face serious consequences.

It is pertinent to mention that Qatar Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi recently held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

According to media reports, Al-Kaabi highlighted the importance of the LNG accord and discussed the LNG deal that was executed during the PML-N tenure.

An official, on the condition of anonymity, said the PML-N government had agreed to keep a few sections of the agreement secret. He claimed that if the Pakistani government makes the agreement public, Qatar can end the agreement.

Petroleum Minister Khan, when asked, said the matter is not in his knowledge. The Qatar high commission has also not commented over the matter.



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