NAB should have made case against KP govt instead of Imran Khan: Fawad Chaudhry
Information Minister explained this while talking to renowned anchorperson Dr. MoeedPirzada on his program “Live with MoeedPirzada” at GNN television on Wednesday (January 9, 2019).
He said that the whole helicopter case of NAB against PM Imran Khan is ridiculous “It should not have been made in the first place because the KP government had invited Imran Khan”, the information minister said.
He also said that the PTI chairman was not aware of the purpose of these visits. “These trips by helicopter were to far-flung areas to initiate and inaugurate small power projects sometimes as small as 12 Megawatt”. The goal of the KP government, the information minister said, was to seek larger publicity for these projects instead of spending money on PRT’s and advertisements “They thought it was convenient and more economical to invite Imran Khan because media follows him and if he would come and inaugurate these projects, then automatically these inaugurations will be given wider coverage. This was the strategy of KP government which obviously succeeded”. The Information Minister went on to reiterate that if NAB has to make a case or find it objectionable, NAB had to make a case against the then KP government for these invitations instead of filing a case against Imran Khan.
He defended his earlier comments on senior anchor person Hamid Mir’s program that this helicopter case by the NAB against Imran Khan is insulting because it manipulates public opinion.
Earlier, the corruption watchdog had said that the PTI should have paid the KP government Rs11.1 million for the helicopters but official documents only mention a payment of Rs2.1 million. The NAB alleged that there was documentary evidence that Khan had paid Rs2.1 million for two helicopters belonging to the KP government, an MI-171 and an Ecureuil, for a total of 74 hours, which amounts to Rs28,000 spent for every hour the helicopters were used, a local publication reported.
Imran Khan appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at the bureau's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) office in Peshawar on TuesdayAugust 07, 2018 in aforementioned case.
Earlier, on July 11, 2018, the NAB had issued a notice to Imran Khan summoning him to appear before investigation team on July 18 of same year. However, Babar Awan and Associates had applied, requesting for more time due to Khan’s involvement in the elections, which was accepted.
In February 2018, after taking notice of the helicopter issue when it was highlighted by print and electronic media, NAB had taken its first action against Khan and former KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for allegedly misusing official helicopters for private visit.
However, the KP government had rejected the allegations against Imran Khan, using official helicopter for his personal and private use. A spokesperson of the PTI-led provincial government put down the stance and insisted that since 2013, the use of helicopters, other than official business, is baseless.