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Depoliticise this mess soon By Shaheen Sehbai








Depoliticise this mess soon

February 01, 2016


DUBAI: The operation in Karachi and Zarb-e-Azb are fast being pushed into the political arena similar to the battles gladiators fight to the last.

Otherwise the Rangers DG Major General Bilal Akbar would not have to say: “They would criticise Rangers, if according to them, the operation is going fast. And if they find the operation getting slow, they would accuse the Rangers of having a ‘setting’.

“Our setting is only with our mission. Our setting is only with the nation. Our setting is only with our motherland,” he had to clarify on Sunday. There can be no doubt about his mission and his goals but why this situation has arrived is the big question the Rangers, and their think tanks, will have to ponder and answer.

After arrest of Uzair Baloch and starting with the arrest of Dr Asim Hussain, the Rangers have issued numerous statements and reports and its leaders have made public appearances. Plainly speaking they had to go public to lobby and explain their mission. Again why was it needed?

The simple answer to all these questions is that Rangers are working in a highly complex situation where conflicts of interests and contradictions are countless and the entire structure is infested with untenable centres of power and influence and twisted realities.

The first is that a government, which should have been the main vehicle of carrying out this operation, aided by the Rangers, has positioned itself against the operation, fearing its own wings may get burned. So the momentum and fury, as well as its effectiveness, has been cut short dragging the pace.

Secondly, while operations were in full swing against collaborators, abettors and helpers of terrorists inside the political parties, these parties were allowed to operate and contest elections and use their political muscle to pressurise the Rangers. Who allows rivals to gain and display support in the middle of the battle.

This situation was not taken into account by the think tanks of the Rangers and the army authorities. A temporary stop, a moratorium, on politics was a must to provide the necessary space and cover to take out the dirty fish, both political and apolitical. That was not done before the operations were launched.

The key issue was that if cleansing inside the political parties had to be done, a neutral, objective, non-political and strong administrative cover must have been provided first. That was not done.

So now there is a visible mess and this situation has to be resolved sooner than later because the operation has to go on. Any reversal or slow-down will encourage terrorists and their supporters to hit back with a vengeance. No one can afford it.

Even now the federal government, the army leadership, the security agencies and the Sindh government must sit down and find a workable solution. The worst-case scenario could be that the army may be left with no option but to steamroll everyone to achieve the logical results of the operation, as stated repeatedly by Army Chief Gen Raheel in the early days of Zarb-e-Azb. That may not be liked by many.

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Pakistan inks LNG deal worth $16b with Qatar: The story of Corruption Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi– The story of Corruption


Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has spent many laborious years on various job positions, cementing his reputation as a

corrupt man. His journey for corruption initiated when he was appointed the Chariman for PIA by our very own Nawaz Sharif. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wasted no time in putting his devious mind to work and ordering 12 new Boeing Airplanes for PIA. On the surface, such a step seems innocent and beneficial for the national airlines. But upon more investigation, it was found that Mr. Shahid Abbasi dropped some extremely vital, spare parts of the Boeings and replaced with them poor quality Boeing components, sneakily pocketing the money he saved by purchasing cheaper, low-quality components. In another scandal, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also accused for importing 200 computers allegedly for the airlines operations but were misappropriated, costing the national exchequer an astounding Rs. 11 million loss. However, the court acquitted Mr. Abbasi on the basis of lack of incriminating evidence, even though the prosecution produced seven witnesses before the trail court. However, one cannot say for sure that some political influence was not used in this acquittal.

Furthermore, he also aided our Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in one of the biggest examples of blatant disregard of public feelings. In the 1997’s Nawaz Sharif government, Nawaz Sharif expended all his efforts in convincing expatriate Pakistanis to send their dollars to Pakistan. In stark contrast, the Prime Minister himself- costing the national exchequer a whooping Rs. 110 crore- went on 28 foreign trips for “governance” purposes. Nawaz Sharif had also promised to return the special Boeing plane to PIA for the airline’s commercial operations. But like most of his other promise, these were just empty words. In a glaring display of breaking his promise to PIA, Nawaz Sharif- with the help of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi- made a 1.8 million USD renovation of his aircraft, transforming it into a palace of luxuries. Hypocritically, Nawaz Sharif would always preach lessons of simple living and austerity to the general public, but would not accept anything less that specially-cooked , seven-course meals that were prepared by a cook hired by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi specifically to meet the dietary demand of the Prime Minister, including the well-known favorite of Nawaz Sharif, “Gajrela”.

Another example of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s loot and plunder is his activities as the owner of a private air line called Air Blue. Recently, Air Blue has resolved to start operations from Birmingham (Britain) to Pakistan from 28th September 2014.  In a manipulating move, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is withdrawing all PIA management staff from PIAs office in Britain in order to create a prolonged management vacuum designed to put his airline in a more favorable light and take over the market share of PIA. Similar policies have been carried out by the current Petroleum Minister numerous times, proving to be disastrous for Pakistan’s national asset, PIA, but Shahid Abbasi seems to be least concerned about the consequences of his greed-ridden decisions. An instance in 2013 in which the Joint Action Committee of PIA Employees (JACPIAE) accused Shahid Khaqan of continuing to interfere in PIA’s internal affairs while he was running his own private airline, resulting in a conflict of interests. Shahid Abbasi influenced various operational decisions of PIA that has resulted in the downfall of the national airlines.

Lastly, in the tragic 2010 Air Blue plane crash on the Margallah Hilss, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also displayed his true colors and concern for the people of Pakistan, the people he has an obligation to serve. When the horrific air crash happened, this blue-eyed boy of Nawaz Sharif completed disappeared from the scene, only gracing the public with his presence and empty condolences after three days. Such is the extent of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s indifference.  

Such examples of Shahid Khaqan’s callous nature only makes me apprehensive as to what good this man can do for this country as the Petroleum Minister. He has already made the people of Punjab and KPK suffer for more than a week due to critical petrol shortage brought about by Mr. Khaqan’s poor governance and negligence of petroleum management in the favor of the poorly designed LNG deal with Qatar. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi seems to be in a hurry to sign this deal despite the fact that the new gas reserves that have been discovered in Sindh.

Posted by M Butt Lahore at 11:46 

 Read More at http://shahidabbasi.blogspot.com/


Pakistan inks LNG deal worth $16b with Qatar

Published: December 13, 2015
Commercial contract to be signed with Qatar Gas 2. PHOTO: REUTERS

Commercial contract to be signed with Qatar Gas 2. PHOTO: REUTERS


Pakistan and Qatar have inked a government-to-government (G2G) deal for the award of a $16 billion contract for LNG supply from a Qatar-based firm without going through the mandatory bidding process.

“The petroleum ministry has now provided details regarding G2G deal with Qatar to import LNG which was effective from March 2015,” officials said. The details of the deal were revealed by petroleum ministry officials to a committee constituted by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Govt mulls forming ‘Pakistan LNG Limited’

Earlier, the petroleum ministry had sought ECC approval for Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to execute the sales-purchase agreement with Qatar Gas 2 (QG2) as seller following the government-to-government agreement. But the approval was deferred following a question raised by the law secretary about the deal with Doha.

Officials said the law secretary would present a report regarding the LNG deal with Qatar on government-to-government basis in the upcoming meeting, enabling the economic decision-making body to approve the General Sale Purchase Agreement (SPA), a commercial contract to be signed between PSO and QG2. They said that PSO had also imported six cargoes of LNG from Qatar in line with the G2G deal.

Officials said that price of LNG had been linked with a direct percentage of Brent crude oil and under current price of Brent the value of potential LNG supply under SPA amounted to around US$ 16 billion.

The period of contract will last till December 2030. However, a price review provision which allows two parties Islamabad and Doha to seek a price review after ten years has been built in the contract, with the two countries maintaining the right to terminate the Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA) in case they fail to reach consensus on price revision.

Under the agreement, PSO, a public sector company designated by the government, would receive supply of 1.5 million tons of LNG per year from QG2 and the supply would be enhanced to 3 million tons per year from the second year. The core business of PSO is oil but it is now going into a new business line of LNG.

Economic decision making body was expected to allow PSO to sell the LNG to the gas utility companies including Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Line Limited (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).The PSO may also be authorised to sell LNG to third party consumers.

Multi-million dollar contract: Gunvor wins LNG deal race, will be PSO’s supplier

Qatar had desired in its original plan that Qatargas would supply LNG through their company Qatar Liquefied Gas Company 3 (QG3) under the SPA. However, Qatargas had now proposed for LNG supplies under SPA through QG2.

The new proposed arrangement had deprived US based firm ConocoPhillips to capture Pakistan’s market as shareholder in QG3, which is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Mitsui.

Published in The Express Tribune,

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THE MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT IN PAKISTAN EVER: Private company blocked from importing 20pc cheaper LNG


Private company blocked from importing 20pc cheaper LNG




ISLAMABAD: Amid legal vacuum surrounding the sale of around 140,000 tonnes of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a few bulk consumers, a private company’s bid to arrange import of 20 per cent cheaper commodity is reported to have been blocked.
Informed sources told Dawn the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) did not have an LNG marketing licence but it had not only imported but was selling the product to various consumers, including fertiliser plants, power plants and gas companies.
“This is illegal,” said a former petroleum secretary.
A senior government official said the CNG industry represented by Universal Gas Company had struck a deal with an LNG supplier at less than $7 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) but it was not given clearance by the government and asked to route through PSO. “The final price differential between LNG imported by PSO and the CNG sector amounted to more than $2.5 per mmbtu,” said the official.
The LNG policy was approved in 2011 which has neither been amended nor suspended so far, but the consumers of regasified LNG (RLNG) were under pressure to import LNG through PSO in violation of section 10 of the policy. This strangely results into 45pc price build-up of RLNG in the shape of charges and profits of domestic entities.
An official of a fertiliser company said that even though the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) was providing domestic natural gas to Pak-Arab Fertiliser, which had enabled first LNG cargo by providing letter of credit, the invoices for RLNG to Pak-Arab were issued directly by the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) even though the Multan-based fertiliser plant was not a consumer of SSGC. This is also a legal issue that would need to be covered post-facto by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) or the cabinet.
In fact, the imported RLNG belonged to the Pak-Arab Fertiliser which paid for it but did not get full quantities as it was partially diverted by PSO to other consumers, for some time to Dawood Agritech and some IPPs. This is not allowed under Third Party Access (TPA) rules for LNG.
A petroleum ministry official, who has worked on three major LNG import projects so far, told Dawn that the latest RLNG price at Karachi was comparatively higher than envisaged under the two previous import attempts.
He said that first cargo’s RLNG price at Karachi has worked out at 17.56pc of the Brent crude. The Brent price varied between $57-60 per barrel over the last few days and RLNG price at Karachi has been set at $10.42 per mmbtu and $14.2 per mmbtu at power plant’s gate.
In contrast, the RLNG price of 4Gas, which became a victim to court cases during early days of the PPP government, had averaged 12.5pc of Brent. Another bid that fell victim to competing bidders — Gasport, Global and Engro — and then struck down again by the courts at the fag end of PPP tenure had also priced RLNG at Karachi at 13.9pc of Brent.
The official said the price of light sulphur furnace oil (LSFO) price for Kot Addu Thermal Power Company, according to regulatory approval, has stood at $10.85 per mmbtu against RLNG’s estimated price of $14.3 per mmbtu. This proved that the imported RLNG was costlier than furnace oil.
As if it were not enough, the RLNG price would further go up in view of a surprise decision of the petroleum ministry and PSO to offload Engro’s Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) swiftly and use it as an LNG carrier to go back and bring another LNG cargo. This would result in eight days of capacity payments at the rate of $272,000 per day along with 3-4 times higher transportation cost (compared to LNG ship) to the FSRU even though it would not process LNG to become part of the price.
The sources said that the government was now trying to get out of these legal complexities by allowing a group of private investors to set up a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to import LNG through spot purchases.
The group comprised a leading industrialist-cum-banker and a broker-turned-industrialist having directorships on the board of directors of gas companies that would have influence over LNG import, its distribution and partly consumption but the higher costs would be shared by all the consumers at the end of the day.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2015


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