Monday June 24, 2024

ECP asks NAB to make Imran Khan clear dues for using KP chopper

As per NAB documents, KP govt's helicopter has been used for 1,800 illegal trips

By Shakeel Farman Ali
February 11, 2023
PTI chief Imran Khan arrives on a helicopter to lead a protest rally in Swabai on May 25, 2022. — AFP
PTI chief Imran Khan arrives on a helicopter to lead a protest rally in Swabai on May 25, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to speed up recovery from and declare Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and others as defaulters for utilising the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s choppers.

In its letter addressed to the accountability watchdog, the ECP stated that the former prime minister and other unauthorised individuals should also be declared defaulters by the relevant forum asking for the list of defaulters to be shared with the electoral body, which will then be shared with returning officers for further action as per law.

According to NAB documents, two official choppers of the KP government were used for 1,800 illegal trips. Politicians used the copters 588 times, while government officials utilised them 577 times.

Unauthorised people have to pay Rs198.3 million in arrears, while politicians have over Rs96.8 million in payables. Government officials have to pay more than Rs50.8 million, and others have an outstanding amount of over Rs50 million.

It should be noted that the KP Assembly had last year declared the use of the provincial government’s helicopters from November 1, 2008, till December 2022, as legal through a draft amendment in the law, after which the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) challenged the amendment in the Peshawar High Court.

In December 2022, NAB — after completing its probe into the illegal use of the KP government’s helicopters — revealed that those, who engaged the chopper for private use, owe Rs90 million to the provincial administration.

The development came in reaction to the usage of choppers used by Khan, former and current provincial and federal ministers, including others.

NAB also wrote to the KP government to recover the cost of all the illegal helicopter trips taken by "influential politicians, public officeholders" and others.