Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who launched an austerity drive after assuming office, is now in the middle of a controversy of use of helicopters by him and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has justified the use of helicopters by the newly-elected leaders.
As per the report in Dawn News, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Imran had used an official helicopter to travel between their personal residence in Banigala to the Prime Minister’s house.
The same had evoked sharp reactions from critics, who had questioned the austerity drive kickstarted by the PTI chief. Imran Khan’s party, however, rubbished the criticism calling it “undue criticism” of the new Prime Minister.
PTI leader Muhammad Ali Khan took to microblogging site Twitter to back the cricketer-turned-politician. He tweeted, “Those unduly criticising PM @ImranKhanPTI for the use of Helicopter from PM house2 Banygala must know that 1.Using Heli for 3min Fly is more CHEAPER fuel consumption wise considering at least 5 to 7 vehicles of necessary Security to be used instead 2. More SAFE 3. No Traffic BLOCKAGE.”
The Dawn News reported that the ruling party also faced criticism after photographs of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar travelling with his family on a private jet emerged on social media.
As part of the austerity measures, the government has banned first class air travel for top officials of the country. Even the President and heads of governments are not allowed to go for first class air travel.
The decision to dis-allow first-class air travel was taken during the second meeting of the federal cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the meeting, a decision was taken that the country's top officials - president, PM, chief justice, Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker and chief ministers would no longer have the privilege of flying first-class on international flights. Instead, they would have to make do with business or club class.