Saturday, February 11, 2023
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Saturday wrote a letter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for expediting recovery from and declaring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and others as defaulters for using the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s helicopter.
In the letter addressed to the anti-graft body, the electoral authority stated that the PTI chief and other unauthorised persons should be declared defaulters by the relevant forum, while the list of these defaulters should be sent to the ECP. The list will then be forwarded to the 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.