ISLAMABAD: Tall claims of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to end the VIP culture in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) have dashed to the ground as KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and members of his cabinet, who were not entitled to avail this facility, used official helicopters on 32 occasions in violation of the rules and procedures, sources told The News here on Saturday. Referring to the official record, the sources revealed that the flight duration of two official helicopters is 163:35 hours and fuel worth Rs11 million has been used for these flights during the tenure of PTI-led provincial government that also included visit of the KP chief minister and some of his cabinet members to Karak where they attended marriage ceremony of their party MPA.
According to information, KP chief minister Pervez Khattak used official helicopter on eight occasions, including a visit to Bani Gala, the KP speaker three occasions and then senior minister Sirajul Haq on two occasions.
KP Inspector General Nasir Durrani used helicopter for official assignments on 14 occasions, and he availed this facility to visit areas, including Kohat, Swabi, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Bannu and Hangu.
Provincial Minister Shah Farman and other ruling party MPAs also illegally made five flights of the official helicopters despite the fact that only the chief minister and the governor is officially entitled to use this facility.
The sources said former KP Governor Engr Shaukatullah and currently serving KP Governor Sardar Mehtab Abbasi used helicopters 37 times but both of them were officially entitled to avail this facility.
In March this year, PTI Chairman Imran Khan and KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak flew in two helicopters to Abbottabad district to plant a sapling and launch the tree plantation campaign. The sources said KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak also used helicopter to reach the budget session in the KP Assembly after which Imran Khan conveyed him categorically that it was wrong and should not be repeated.
PTI Secretary Information for KP Ayesha Gulalai told The News that misuse of official helicopters is the tradition of Sharif brothers, and PTI has made an end to the VIP culture in the KP province.
“We don’t believe in misuse of official resources because our party chairman has directed each and every party official to [sic] work against VIP culture. I have not gone through official record that pointed out use of helicopters, so I can’t comment on it,” she said.
When contacted, KP Government Spokesman Mushtaq Ghani told The News that helicopters are used for official assignments only in emergency cases, and the KP chief minister is quite conscious of this because he even never allows any misuse of the official vehicles.
“The KP chief minister or any other member of the cabinet never ever misused the facility of the helicopter and they availed of this opportunity only in emergency cases,” he said.
To a question, he admitted that only the KP chief minister and the governor are entitled to use official helicopters, but, keeping in view the current situation, the KP IG also uses helicopter for official assignments.
Replying to another question, he said when the governor wants to use official helicopter, he makes a written request to the provincial government that bears the fuel expenses out of its budget.
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