Bureaucrats are facing consequences for utilising the government helicopter of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa without making a single cent in payments, and they are questioning the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) authority to demand payment for using it.
The officialdom has expressed strong opposition to the supreme parliamentary body’s directions, claiming that it was not within its purview to hold them responsible for utilising the helicopter for “official visits.” The officials had only piled on board with government officials, notably the chief minister himself, in contrast to the “unfounded allegations” of the list and those who provided it.
The criticism follows Noor Alam Khan, the head of the PAC, returning to the NAB the list of 1,800 people who were not authorised to use the aircraft with new instructions to collect any outstanding debts from them.
Along with PTI leader Imran Khan, more than 40 other politicians are listed as using the helicopter. The leader of the PTI, Faisal Javed, made ten free excursions in the helicopter, and Abrarul Haq and Reham Khan each made two free trips.
The list also includes the names of journalists Fariha Idris, Dr. Shahid Masood, and Arshad Sharif, along with the names of PTI leaders Shehryar Afridi, Hafeezullah, and Amin Aslam who utilised the helicopter.
The PAC chairman stated that the money would be recovered from the helicopter users and given to NAB with instructions to investigate the Punjab government’s helicopter information. The PAC also thanked NAB in a letter for providing the names of 1,800 persons.
A senior public official claims that as soon as the passengers are piled onto the helicopter, a manifest with their individual information is always signed. The manifest is placed in the aircraft log as soon as the helicopter touches down.
The list of helicopter users
The PAC received a list of 48 politicians, and Rs 80 million in legal action is pending against them.
The list includes a number of politicians, including Asfandyar Wali Khan and Syed Masoom Shah from the ANP and Khwaja Asif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Abid Sher from the PML-N.
Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao of the Qawmi Watan Party (QWP) and his son Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao, as well as Sirajul Haq, Sahibzada Tariq, and Habib-ur-Rehman of Jamat-e-Islami, utilised the K-P government helicopter and are subject to liabilities.
Jahangir Khan Tareen, a longtime ally of Imran Khan, and Aun Chaudhry, a former coordinator for the PTI, were also named on the list.
The helicopter was also used by the late inspector general of the K-P Police, Nasir Khan Durrani, the current Commandant of the Frontier Constabulary, Salahuddin Mehsood, the former additional IG of the K-P Police, Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, the DIGs Qazi Jamil, Azad Khan, and Mubarak Zeb, the SSPs Fida Hussain, Mansoor, Ghulam Hus.
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It’s interesting to note that other than senior police officers, the government helicopter was also utilised by inspectors, sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors, chief constables, and hawaldars. Senior K-P executives, however, think that the journeys were made for work-related reasons.
Azam Khan, Shahab Ali Shah, secretaries, political agents from formerly federally administered tribal areas, a sizable number of forest officials, as well as representatives from higher education, information, revenue, the anti-corruption establishment, agriculture, Wapda, and the tourism departments, are among the over 100 names of government officials on the list.
The helicopter was also used by a number of foreigners, including Branda Shrader, A. Rodrigues, Maria Bejar, Chris Farmer, Tom Inskip, and William Owens, as well as Brauckmann, Wim Tjerkstra, and Wolfgang Moll.
Additionally, some active-duty and retired military personnel used the helicopter.