Khan questioned over misuse of helicopters

9 Aug 18

Pakistan’s new prime minister Imran Khan, who pledged to fight corruption during his election campaign, has been questioned over the misuse of government helicopters.

The newly elected leader appeared before the National Accountability Bureau on Tuesday for the use of the helicopters for excessive personal use, which allegedly cost 2.1m Pakistan rupees (approximately £13,000).

The anti-corruption watchdog gave Khan a questionnaire that he would have to respond to within 15 days.

Noor Akbar, project officer for Pakistan in the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, told PF International that the government claimed that Khan has paid the bill “from his pocket”.

He said: “Irrespective of the intention behind the case, Khan should have not used the helicopter for personal use but on the positive note he presented to the NAB and stuck to his words of being accountable for his actions.”

The former prime minister was ousted for being “not honest”, as the Panama Papers revealed that Nawaz Sharif and his children owned off-shore companies and assets, including London property.

Last month the NAB court sentenced Sharif to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of $10.6m.

Khan pledged to fight corruption and proclaimed a “New Pakistan” to bring change, after years of corruption within government, lack of transparency and poor governance at all government levels.

Akbar said: “I personally see it a positive change in the political landscape of Pakistan.

“I couldn’t have imagined until as recently as 5 years ago, that the prime minister could be questioned by the NAB.

“Transparency is starting to prevail in the ‘New Pakistan’ and no one is exempt, even the new prime minister of Pakistan. Now let’s get on with the politics.”

Read Akbar’s blog on whether the former cricketer can deliver a ‘New Pakistan’ after a turbulent chapter in the country’s history.

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