AUG 6, 2018: Hours after being nominated as the next prime minister of the country, former legendary cricketer turned politician Imran Khan has been summoned by National Accountability Bureau, the anti-corruption watchdog for allegedly misusing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s helicopter, his party and local media said on Monday.
A senior PTI leader who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity confirmed the summoning and said that Khan had decided to appear before the NAB in Peshawar, the KP capital on Tuesday.
“He wants to set an example that no one is above the law. He will definitely appear before the NAB tomorrow,” he said.
Khan whose center-right Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is going to form the government at the Center for the next five years in the wake of July 25 elections, is facing an inquiry by NAB for allegedly using the helicopters of the KP province, where his party ruled from June 2013 to May 2018, for his private visits, local broadcaster Dunya News reported.
Since Khan had no official status, he was not allowed to use the government’s helicopters for personal use .
According to the NAB, there is documentary evidence that Khan paid Rs2.1 million (around $30,500) for using an Mi-17 and an Ecureuil helicopter belonging to the KP government for a total of 74 hours.
Khan denies the charge claiming that he simply accompanied the KP chief minister who had actually used the helicopters to visit the flood-affected areas.
The NAB report claims that had Khan used a private company’s choppers, it would have cost him much more.
Imran irked at being given PM’s protocol in Islamabad
Khan, who is expected to become the country’s next prime minister, expressed his displeasure over official protocol given to him while travelling from his Bani Gala residence to a private hotel in Islamabad.
The PTI chief remarked: “I was given official protocol [while coming here today] — the country cannot be run like this.”
Following Imran’s directions, PTI leader Naeem-ul-Haque sent back some vehicles of Rangers and FC.
“When Khan sahab was leaving his house today, he found out that the government had sent for him the protocol which is given to prime ministers. It included many vehicles of security agencies, along with cars of Rangers and FC. We stopped the Rangers and FC cars,” he shared.
Khan sahab also said that practice of government stepping up the route for the prime minister should be stopped. “Khan sahab doesn’t want to cause much trouble to people of the country,” Haque added.
Naeem-ul-Haque further remarked that Imran has always decried the VIP culture. “Despite the security threats to his life, Imran wants the least number of vehicles in his official squad. We had only requested for four vehicles from police but he was given the protocol of PM.”
The PTI’s parliamentary party members on Monday unanimously approved the resolution to nominate Khan as the parliamentary leader and nominee for the next country’s premiership.
In the July 25 elections, the PTI emerged as the single largest party but fell short of simple majority in the National Assembly. The party will have to seek formal support from smaller parties or independents to get elected the prime minister of its choice.