ECP approaches NAB to declare Imran defaulter in copter case


Finalises plans for Punjab, KP polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday wrote to the National Accountability Bureau to declare Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and others as defaulters as they did not pay the state for using state helicopters.

In the letter, the ECP sought a list of the defaulters, which would be shared with the concerned returning officers later.

According to NAB documents, two official choppers of the KP government were used for 1,800 illegal trips. Politicians used the copters 588 times, while government officials utilised them 577 times. Unauthorised people have to pay Rs198.3 million in arrears, while politicians have over Rs96.8 million in payables. Government officials have to pay more than Rs50.8 million, and others have an outstanding amount of over Rs50 million.

It should be noted that the KP Assembly had last year declared the use of the provincial government’s helicopters from November 1, 2008, till December 2022, as legal through a draft amendment in the law, after which the Pakistan Muslim League-N challenged the amendment in the Peshawar High Court.

In December 2022, NAB, after completing its probe into the illegal use of the KP government’s helicopters, revealed that those, who engaged the chopper for private use, owe Rs90 million to the provincial administration.

The development came in reaction to the usage of choppers used by Khan, former and current provincial and federal ministers, including others.

The NAB also wrote to the KP government to recover the cost of all the illegal helicopter trips taken by “influential politicians, public officeholders” and others.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan has finalized preparations to hold provincial assemblies’ elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

Sources said that in proposed election schedule, polling date for Punjab has been fixed on April 9 and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa April 16.

The election schedule for Punjab will likely to be released next week.—Agencies