Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi excused himself from appearing before the National Accountability Bureau on Friday in an ongoing probe pertaining to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract case.

Abbasi had been summoned to appear before the anti-corruption watchdog’s Rawalpindi office today. However, he could not appear before NAB as he is out of the country. 

The former premier has now been asked to appear on February 19.

The NAB launched an investigation in 2018 against former premiers Abbasi and Nawaz Sharif over alleged misuse of power regarding an LNG terminal project. 

Abbasi, who served as minister for petroleum during Nawaz’s tenure before assuming charge of PM office, is accused of “granting a 15-year contract of LNG terminal to a company of their liking in violation of rules and by misuse of their powers, which caused national exchequer a loss of billions of rupees", the watchdog said.