Musharraf forced me not to resist BP deal at 'throwaway price': Ex-minister

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 27, 2010 12:10 hrs

Former Pakistan Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin has revealed that then President Pervez Musharraf and ex-Premier Shaukat Aziz had been forcing him to not to resist the British Petroleum (BP) deal for buying Occidental Petroleum' shares in Badin field, whose assets were being sold at a throwaway price in 2002.

However, instead of bowing down to the pressure, Aminuddin told the 'top men' of the country that if they would keep insisting on doing this wrong thing, he would tender his resignation as the Petroleum Minister, The News reported.

He made these revelations while commenting on the petition filed in the Supreme Court by former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed, questioning the concerned BP deal.

In his petition, Ahmed had questioned the BP deal with Occidental Petroleum, and called for taking serious notice of those involved in 'compromising the national interest over vested interest by selling Occidental Petroleum's shares to the BP at a throwaway price'.

Aminuddin said that everybody in Musharraf's team, including Shaukat and privatisation minister Salim Altaf, had personal interests in the deal.

The petitioner quoted Aminuddin's views on the issue as petroleum minister and said: "The assets include a substantial part of the proven oil and gas reserves which were sold to the BP at a controversial price if not at throwaway price in 2002.

Interestingly, in the wake of the financial crunch the BP is confronting, it has planned to sell out its assets in Pakistan, and OGDCL and other relevant bodies are "facilitating" the BP to sell them on much higher price. Therefore, the new deal would cause a loss of 800 million dollars to the national exchequer. (ANI)

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