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The Curious Case of the Rs.55/km Helicopter Ride

The Curious Case of the Rs.55/km Helicopter Ride

Manaal Shuja

The recent helicopter controversy, emerging right on the heels of the Khawar Maneka vs. DPO Pakpattan incident, has kicked off another round of debate on social media. It is not only a question of CM Punjab Usman Buzdar using government copters for family excursions, but also Prime Minister Imran Khan making use of them to traverse the 3-minute distance between Bani Gala and PM House.

The public is mocking PTI for attempting to redefine the boundaries of ‘austerity’ to include the regular use of helicopters.

The reason there has been such an uproar is that the new government has recently promised a scheme of complete economic reconstruction – including a severe policy of expense reduction. However, this copter controversy has changed the tide of public opinion; people are taking to Twitter to discuss just to how large an extent the country’s resources are being wasted.

We have some very dedicated PTI henchmen who are poring over the ledgers and attempting to provide justifications:

But others are not to be thwarted. PTI’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s claim that Khan’s trips between Bani Gala and PM house cost only Rs.55 per kilometer has sparked some intense calculations – and nobody is willing to be left behind in the race. Here’s what some Twitterati came up with:

Doesn’t Khan know he’s actually impeding the building of a dam by making these trips?

Some took to sarcasm in order to make their point:

However, PTI members and supporters are still holding fast to their line of argument; Khan’s and even Buzdar’s use of helicopters is actually more economical and in fact beneficial for citizens as they won’t have to put up with road blockades. This begs the question though – why do politicians require entire convoys while traveling in the first place? Most would argue there is a perfectly reasonable answer to that: security concerns.

Even after lengthy speculation (and arithmetic), we have come back full circle. There really is no absolute answer to this – and the controversy will probably keep coming back to haunt PTI as it sets out on its change-centered agendas. 




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