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NAB summons Imran ahead of oath-taking on 7th August in KPK Helicopter case

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News Analysis |

The National Accountability Bureau Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has summoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on August 7 in the alleged illegal use of provincial government’s helicopters. Sources in the NAB confirmed that Khan has been asked to appear before the bureau to clarify his position as earlier he had excused to show up saying he was busy in the election campaign.

The bureau has summoned him on August 7 to clear his position about the use of government helicopter in a personal capacity. The PTI chief is charged with using two official helicopters for 74 hours, that has led to costs of Rs2.17 million. In February, the former KP government had clarified that the government-owned helicopters were never used by Khan for his personal or private activities.

The PTI chief, whose party governed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used the helicopters to fly to and from Bani Gala, Islamabad, Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swat and Nathiagali, Kohat, Batagram, and Chakdara, among other places.

In a statement, the then PTI-led KP government had said Khan along with ministers and advisers used those helicopters for the official tours. These helicopters were used on 39 occasions in last four and half years, the provincial government had said in the statement on February 4. The statement had shared details of 39 official trips with around 75 flying hours costing Rs2.17 million in fuel charges.

NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had ordered an inquiry against the use of government helicopter by Khan. On July 18, Khan through his council Babar Awan had requested the NAB that since his client was busy in the election campaign, he would appear before the NAB soon after the elections to record his statement.

Read more: Imran Khan’s helicopter lands him in NAB’s trouble-box

In the wake of the election campaign, the NAB had granted time to the PTI chief. On Feb 2, the chairman of NAB, Javed Iqbal directed KP Director General (DG) Naveed Haider to ascertain how former KP chief minister Pervez Khattak handed over his official helicopter to someone else and find out if the same was repeated with other individuals.

The following day, Imran Khan said that the KP government had made clear that there was never any personal or private use of government helicopters by him. He also said that NAB was most welcome to examine the issue. Documents from the KP administration department show that the PTI chairperson used the KP government’s helicopters free of charge for a total of 74 hours to travel approximately 18,000 kilometers, the NAB statement said.

The National Accountability Bureau Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has summoned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on August 7 in the alleged illegal use of provincial government’s helicopters.

The provincial government recorded in its books a total expense of Rs2.1 million at approximately Rs28,865 per hour for Khan’s 40 trips on the two helicopters – a Mi-17 and an Ecureuil. Similar trips using a private helicopter would have cost the PTI chairperson nearly Rs11.1 million, according to the statement.

Khan used the Mi-17 for 21 hours 50 minutes on 12 trips amounting to a recorded expense of Rs1.270, said the bureau. The PTI chief, whose party governed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used the helicopters to fly to and from Bani Gala, Islamabad, Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Haripur, Swat and Nathiagali, Kohat, Batagram, and Chakdara, among other places.

Read more: Imran Khan summoned by NAB for ‘misusing’ KP government’s helicopters

However, in its documents, the administration department mentioned the purpose of the flights as official use and urgent nature of work. Meanwhile, The National Accountability Bureau will initiate an inquiry against Ishaq Dar, Anusha Rehman and former chairman PTA Ismail Shah. The inquiry was approved by the executive board of the NAB after a meeting on Friday. The meeting was chaired by NAB chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. Ishaq Dar, Anusha Rehman faces the allegations of giving illegal contracts of 3G and 4G