Pakistan bars Etisalat $88m non-payment probe

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

The Pakistan government has barred the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from investigating the PTCL privatisation deal and the alleged non-payment of $800m by Etisalat

The Pakistan government has barred the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from investigating the PTCL privatisation deal and the alleged non-payment of $800m by Etisalat, the Pakistan Daily Times reports.

The Times quotes sources saying that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar sent a message to the NAB chairman to desist in its investigation into Etisalat.

They said the government would talk to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leadership about the non-payment of $800m, adding that there is a chance that Pakistan-UAE relations will become tense if NAB takes any action.

NAB has stopped all investigations against the officials who approved the privatisation of PTCL to Etisalat.

NAB sources alleged that in an internal investigation evidence suggests that the privatisation agreement was vague and one-sided – hence the action which it instigated.

Sources told the Pakistan newspaper that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) took notice of the non-payment of $800m to Pakistan.

It is understood that diplomatic talks are taking place to resolve the dispute.