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Helicopter case: ECP directed to issue notice to Imran Khan

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue a notice to PTI Chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan to clear the dues for allegedly using the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government helicopter for personal purposes and causing a loss of Rs70 million to the national exchequer.

The committee also asked the electoral watchdog to review Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution in this regard.

Last month, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman told the committee that the former premier had used the K-P government’s helicopter for 156 hours from 2013 to 2018. At this time, over Rs70 million was spent on the helicopter. He further said that the anti-corruption watchdog was taking steps for the amount’s recovery.

The PAC, which met under the chairmanship of Noor Alam Khan on Wednesday, mulled over the alleged issue of the K-P government’s helicopter by 1,800 unauthorised people.

The ECP secretary also attended the meeting.

The committee chairman asked the NAB officials whether they had sent the list of 1,800 people to the election supervisor, recalling that he had asked them to do so.

Khan maintained that the NAB, State Bank or any other institution concerned would send the record of those individuals to the ECP who were contesting elections and had defaulted on banks, not paid the utility bills or caused loss to the national exchequer.

He said the elections were approaching near and all the ministries and institutions should send the list of defaulters to the election supervisor.

Addressing the ECP secretary, the PAC chairman said that the NAB officials would send them the list of defaulters.

Committee member Shahida Akhtar Ali said that the PTI chairman was contesting by-polls on nine National Assembly seats despite the case that he was accused of using the provincial government’s helicopter for his personal purposes.

Another committee member Barjees Tahir noted that Imran had to pay Rs70 million under the head of helicopter use. He said unless the PTI chief paid the said amount the results of the by-polls should be withheld.

The committee chairman alleged that the PTI chairman was instigating people and asked the ECP secretary whether they had sent a notice to Imran.

He also asked the ECP to review the matter under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He said the NAB would provide a list of 1,800 people to the electoral watchdog and seek action against the defaulters.

The ECP secretary said he would take up the matter before the election supervisor.

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