Irked by copter controversy, govt decides to send Rs25 million air travel bill to Sharifs

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LAHORE: Ostensibly frustrated with the continued controversy over the use of official planes and helicopters by top government officials, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry looked to divert attention towards the former ruling family and their illegal love affair with air travel on Friday.

In a press conference on Friday, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that a notification to recover the amount will be sent to Nawaz’s children.

Chaudhry, having declared the travel expenses of former prime minister Nawaz Sharifs’ children to be in the billions, announced that a notification to recover the amount would be sent to Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz.

The minister said that Nawaz and his family’s travel expenses ran in the billions. However, since Nawaz himself had prime ministerial privileges, the matter of his own expenses will be dealt with later, he added.

The information minister alleged that Hasan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz had misused state funds and travelled illegally in two private planes and a helicopter.

The use of two private jets, namely the G4 and G450, cost the state to the tune of Rs17.15 million. These jets were used by the ousted prime minister’s children in his absence and for no state-related affairs, to travel in between their Jati Umra residence, Lahore and other locations.

Chaudhry said that the use of the helicopter has been calculated separately, adding that Hamza Shehbaz and others misused the Punjab government copter. The costs incurred by Nawaz’s children over the use of the copter were found to be Rs6.23 million.

He revealed that details of these illegal expenditures were recovered from a log book and that the total bill amounts to around Rs25 million which will be sent to Nawaz Sharif for recovery, and that a notification of the same will be sent to his children.