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Dhaka Tribune

Pakistan trolls Imran Khan for home-to-work helicopter commute

Newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan's decision to go to work on a helicopter has inspired memes in Pakistan

Update : 01 Sep 2018, 02:48 PM

Imran Khan promised Pakistan austerity after being elected, but commuting to work via helicopter may not be the best example of that.

Imran has been making the 15km journey from his private home to his official residence by helicopter. His choice of transport has come under criticism for being too lavish given his promises to make bureaucrats and politicians tighten their belts, reports BBC.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudry quickly came to the prime minister’s defence claiming that helicopter was an inexpensive option costing only Rs55 (Tk37.49) per km.

"I have seen this on Google," he added.

The reason this sounds too cheap to be true is because it is not.

According to research by BBC Urdu, the fuel for the prime minister's helicopter, an Agusta Westland AW139, costs Rs1,600 per km, before other costs associated with running a helicopter are factored in.

And that was all people needed to start trolling. #Helicopter became the top Twitter trend in Pakistan on Monday with over 16,000 tweets using the hashtag and many making jokes about the claim, reports BBC.

Imran Khan's cost of transport was compared to Careem, a ride-hailing smartphone app in Pakistan.

Memes aside, Fawad Chaudry said Imran Khan did not travel via helicopter due to “VIP culture,” but for reasons pertaining to security of the PM.

"We have two options for the travel of the prime minister — by a motorcade that can cause traffic blockades or by helicopter; there is a difference between VIP culture and security protocol," he said.

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