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Imran Khan questioned over alleged misuse of government helicopters

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan who is all set to take oath as prime minister on August 14 appeared before the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Peshawar office in a case related to alleged misuse of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government’s official helicopters during the past tenure of the provincial government when his party was in power there.

On his arrival, Khan was served with a questionnaire in which 15 queries were asked regarding under which authority he used the official helicopter of the provincial government in his private capacity.

Sources in the provincial NAB office told Gulf News that Imran Khan assured the authorities that he was willing to cooperate with the NAB and was ready to reply to all their questions.

Since Khan is the country’s prime minister-in-waiting and is being given a VVIP protocol, strict security measures were taken during his appearance before the provincial authorities of the bureau.

NAB, while taking notice of a number of reports in print and electronic media, had issued a couple of notices to Imran Khan earlier on July 11 and July 18, summoning him to appear before a joint investigation team. But due to Khan’s hectic political engagements, his lawyer Babar Awan had submitted an application asking for more time, which was granted.

An inquiry is pending against Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Pervaiz Khattak and Imran Khan over 74-hour unofficial use of two government helicopters — a Mi-17 and an Ecureuil.

The KP government has denied that Imran Khan used any official helicopter for his private and personal use.

A spokesperson of the PTI-led provincial government said that since 2013, the government had not used helicopters for any purpose other than official business.

The bureau had said that PTI should have paid the KP government Rs11.1 million for the helicopters but official documents only mention a payment of Rs2.1 million.

The NAB alleged there was documentary evidence that Imran Khan had paid Rs2.1 million for two helicopters belonging to the KP government for a total of 74 hours, which amounted to Rs28,000 spent for every hour the helicopters were used.

In a statement, the PTI had welcomed NAB’s investigation into alleged misuse of helicopter and stated that it always supports fair investigations.

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