Imran Khan, who is set to become Pakistan’s new prime minister, was questioned on Tuesday by the country’s anti-graft body and asked to respond to a questionnaire within 15 days in connection with the misuse of helicopters of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government which allegedly caused Rs 2.17 million loss to the exchequer.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on August 3 had summoned 65-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman in the case.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan’s PTI has led the provincial government since 2013. The NAB wanted to question Khan as part of the preliminary probe into allegations that the cricketer-turned-politician caused Rs 2.17 million loss to the provincial exchequer by using the government’s helicopter for over 72 hours.
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Officially he was not allowed to use the aircraft for personal purpose. The NAB had prepared a questionnaire with 15 queries for Khan and his lawyers. The questionnaire has to be completed within 15 days, according to the NAB officials.
Security around the NAB’s Peshawar office was tightened as Khan appeared before the body. Former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak and former speaker of provincial assembly, Asad Qaiser accompanied Imran to the NAB Peshawar office, where he stayed for an hour.
Khan has denied any wrongdoing and said the case was politically motivated. Khan was earlier summoned on July 18, but he failed to appear before the panel sighting elections. His lawyer had filed an appeal requesting the accountability watchdog to fix the date for case after the general elections, “preferably on August 7”.
NAB chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal in February directed the bureau to launch a probe against the PTI chief and then-KP chief minister Pervez Khattak over the unofficial use of two government helicopters by misusing authority.
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Some government officials and Khattak have already appeared before the combined investigation team in the same inquiry.
Khan’s Pakistan PTI has emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. He is expected to take oath as prime minister around August 14.