ISLAMABAD - An accountability court (AC) Monday conditionally allowed the release of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on parole to attend the funeral of his paternal uncle. The court observed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) director general could give permission to the accused to attend the funeral if the district administrations of Islamabad and Rawalpindi took responsibility of his foolproof security. The two-page order written by AC Judge Muhammad Bashir stated that the court conditionally allowed the accused to attend the funeral of his paternal uncle. The district administrations also had to take the responsibility of NAB staff’s security, it further added.  During the course of hearing, Abbasi’s sister Saadia Abbasi had moved a petition seeking the court’s permission for his brother to attend funeral prayer of his paternal uncle. Judge asked about the location of the funeral. To this, the court was informed that the funeral would be held in Murree, Abbasi’s hometown. However, the NAB prosecutor objected to the former prime minister’s release.

It may be mentioned here that on September 12, the court had given the final extension in the physical remands of Abbasi and his co-accused Miftah Ismail. The two Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders are accused of being involved in awarding a 15-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract against the rules when Abbasi was petroleum minister in the cabinet of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The case, which was closed by NAB in 2016, was reopened in 2018.