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ISLAMABAD: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said on Saturday that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan had never used any official helicopter for his private and personal use.

In response to the National Acco­untability Bureau (NAB)’s move of launching an inquiry against Mr Khan and KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for allegedly misusing official helicopters for private visits, a spokesman of the PTI-led provincial government said that since 2013, the government had not used helicopters for any purpose other than official business.

NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal has directed the bureau’s KP director general to conduct an inquiry against CM Khattak and Mr Khan over 74-hour unofficial use of two government helicopters — Mi-17 and Ecureuil — by misusing authority.

According to a statement issued by the CM office, Mr Khan has never used any of the official helicopters for his private or personal use, so the question of hiring a helicopter at commercial rates does not arise. “A government helicopter in any way is never given for private use. Imran Khan accompanied the ministers/advisers of KP on their official tours on 39 occasions during the last four and half years,” the statement said.

It further said that the trips mentioned in a section of media were all official visits. “In these 39 official trips, in which ministers/advisers were accompanied by Imran Khan, the helicopter was used for approximately 75 flying hours against fuel charges of approximately Rs2.1 million,” the statement said.

The spokesman said that believing in transparent and responsible governance, the PTI-led government welcomed the NAB inquiry into the usage of helicopters and assured the bureau of its cooperation and assistance in this regard.

“We also expect that the NAB will extend its inquiry to the usage of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft by other provincial governments as well as the federal government and the nation must be informed of such an inquiry,” the spokesman said.

Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2018