PESHAWAR: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday resumed the investigation into the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s alleged use of helicopters provided by the provincial government.
On February 3, Imran Khan had said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government had clarified that there was never any personal or private use of government helicopters by him.
The KP govt has made clear there was never any personal or private use of the govt heli by me. We welcome NAB examining this issue and hope it will also look into abuse of official planes, helis etc by Zardaris and Sharifs. pic.twitter.com/LncQrjTRk5
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 3, 2018
According to a notification, issued by KP government, the provincial government purchased MI-17 Helicopter in 2008 and ECUREUIL in 2010.
According to the statement, since 2013, the PTI led government has not used these helicopters for any purpose other than the official business of the government. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has never used any of the official helicopters for his private or personal use, so the question of hiring the helicopter at commercial rates does not arise.
It also said that a government helicopter is never given for private use, adding that Imran Khan accompanied the ministers/advisors of KP on their official tours on 39 occasions in last four and a half years.
Furthermore, KP helicopters are maintained and operated by Askari Aviation, against fixed monthly charges, irrespective of the usage. In cases of usage, fuel charges are paid by the provincial government to the Askari Aviation as billed by the same.
It also said that the trips mentioned in a section of the media were all official visits.
In these 39 official trips in which ministers/advisors were accompanied by Imran Khan, the helicopter was used for approximately 75 flying hours against fuel charges of approximately Rs2.1 million in four and a half years. During these visits, the PTI chairman participated in different important official functions ranging from the groundbreaking/inauguration of Billion Tree Tsunami project, the establishment of universities, to the opening of schools, colleges and sports facilities on the special invitation of the provincial projects.
The statement further clarified that Imran Khan has not used the official helicopter for any political gatherings.
It is important to mention that regular audit of the expenses and usage of the helicopters has been carried out by the audit authorities, and the same was found in perfect order and cleared by the audit.
The statement further said that the KP government welcomes the NAB inquiry into the usage of helicopters and assures its full cooperation and assistance to NAB in this regard.