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The Shehbaz Sharif-led government upped the ante on opposition leader Imran Khan by bringing up the helicopter expense details of the former prime minister during a session in the upper house, Senate. In a written reply, the Cabinet Division said that the former premiere’s expenses for his chopper rides from January 2019 to March 2022 amounted to over Rs 430 million.

It was also stated that the PTI chief completed a total of 1,579 VVIP mission hours on the copter in the said span of time.

The reply further pointed out that the former cricketer-turned-politician flew for 522 hours in helicopter in 2020, which cost the exchequer Rs 140 million. The following year 2021 saw Khan using 450 hours of VVIV flights, which resulted into bills over Rs120 million, reported Geo News.

The details about Khan’s helicopter expenses were revealed following a probe by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) earlier this month on the illegal use of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government’s helicopters. The KP region is governed by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

It was revealed that those who used the chopper for private use owe Rs 90 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 had asked the KP government to recover the cost of all the illegal helicopter trips taken by “influential politicians, public officeholders” and others.

To tackle this, the KP government in November this year drafted a proposal to amend the laws regarding the use of its helicopter and other matters in the province.

Following the amendment, no one will be able to question the chopper’s use, including who uses it and why is it being used.

(With inputs from agencies)

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