Free Press Journal

Imran Khan fails to appear before Pakistan anti-graft body in government helicopter misuse case


Peshawar: Imran Khan today failed to appear before Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog in connection with an inquiry against the alleged misuse of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government’s helicopters, causing a loss of Rs 2.1 million to the national exchequer, media reports said today. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued a notice to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman last week to appear before the NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa office here today as part of the probe into his alleged use of the provincial government’s helicopters for private visits, Geo News reported.

The 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was supposed to appear before a NAB investigation team to respond to a questionnaire prepared by it, Dawn newspaper reported. But he instead sent a letter to the NAB through his lawyer Babar Awan saying that being the “head of the largest political party”, he was busy in election campaign and, therefore, could not appear before the team.

He is accused of illegally using two helicopters of the provincial government for a total of 74 hours, causing a loss of Rs 2.1 million to the national exchequer. Khan reportedly used the helicopters when the PTI ruled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  In his letter, Khan asked the NAB to grant him “appropriate time… to join the proceedings”.

According to the spokesperson of NAB’s KP chapter, Salma Begum, the PTI chief’s letter was sent to the NAB Headquarters for a response. Yesterday, Khan’s lawyer Awan had asked the NAB to set the hearing of the case on August 8, saying that Khan was busy campaigning for the July 25 general elections and cannot appear before the body.

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