Former Prime Minister Imran Khan used a private jet to attend his PTI rally in Karachi. Engro Corporation, one of the largest firms in the country, issued a statement on its official Twitter handle, saying the jet belonged to the company. However, the company mentioned that it did not bear expenses for the flight.
“With regards to media speculation around Engro’s ownership of the private jet taken by ex-PM Imran Khan for the political gathering in Karachi, we wish to clarify that although the plane is owned by Engro Fertilizers, it was chartered to Princely Jets as a routine practice,” the post reads.
“Engro did not bear any expenses related to the flight,” the company added.
Engro did not bear any expenses related to the flight.(2/2)
— Engro Corporation (@EngroCorp) April 16, 2022
To clarify, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s use of a private jet triggered quite the controversy on social media. Netizens shared a picture of Imran Khan leaving a private jet after landing in Karachi for his rally. They also made various claims about the owners of the private jet.
According to some reports, a real estate tycoon and owner of Bahria Town Malik Riaz owned the jet. However, the reports were debased as sources from Bahria Town revealed that their private jets had been in the UAE since April 8.
Pertinent to mention, the controversy comes as Imran Khan faces allegations of retaining Toshakhana gifts without paying their full value.
Furthermore, Engro Corporation too was named in the controversy. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal criticized the company and called it “unprofessional.”
“I find this highly unprofessional on part of Engro Corporation that its private jet is being used by a political leader for anti-government rally regardless of the fact it was chartered or sponsored. Please know your limits being a public listed company; it is not personal fiefdom,” Ahsan Iqbal tweeted.
However, netizens were quick to call out Ahsan Iqbal for unnecessarily politicizing the matter.
“That’s how the system of “ownership and operations” of jets work in Pakistan. Anyone can hire the jet,” Tahir Imran Mian, a journalist specialising in aviation, tweeted.
“If the company wants to increase the utility of its asset, what’s wrong it?” he further added.
Dear Ahsan sahab the jet is owned by Engro & operated by a private charter company princely jets.
That’s how the system of “ownership & operations” of jets work in Pakistan.
Anyone can hire the Jet.
If the company wants to increase the utility of its asset what’s wrong in it? https://t.co/KFDK2I2W8X
— Tahir Imran Mian ✈ (@TahirImran) April 17, 2022
Similarly, netizens also criticized Ahsan Iqbal for not reading the clarification issued by Engro over the matter.
“Apart from the obvious threat to a public company as a politician from the ruling party – what is scary about this – he did not even bother reading the clarification they already put out over 12 hours ago,” Najma Minhas tweeted.
Apart from the obvious threat to a public company as a politician from the ruling party- what is scary about this- he did not even bother reading the clarification they already put out over 12 hours ago…that they have leased the plane out to princely jets. 😳😳🤔 https://t.co/dOw4xmzEvR
— Najma Minhas (@MinhasNajma) April 17, 2022
Furthermore, PTI leader Omar Ayub too lashed out at Ahsan Iqbal. He clarified that corporations maximize shareholders’ profits by efficiently utilizing any asset.
You just proved that you don't know business and your comment is shallow. Corporations maximise SHAREHOLDERS profit. That means they will not allow any asset to be underutilised. If an aircraft owned by a company is sitting idle it is not earning any money & is rented out.
— Omar Ayub Khan (@OmarAyubKhan) April 17, 2022