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Pervez Khattak ordered to reimburse Rs1.3m spent on govt ads

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday directed Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak to reimburse over Rs1.3 million incurred on government advertisements carrying his photograph.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a bench of the apex court was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the advertising campaigns run by the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh in 2013-18.

A state counsel informed that the minister is willing to return Rs1.36 million spent on the advertisements that carried his picture during his stint as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister.

The bench directed the lawyer to deposit the amount within ten days and submit a compliance report.

Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif had willingly reimbursed Rs 5.5 million he had spent on advertisements carrying his photograph.

The PML-N leader’s lawyer Shahid Hamid submitted a cheque for Rs 5.5 million to the bench.

At this, the CJP asked if the amount will go into the dams’ fund or the national exchequer, to which the counsel replied it would be deposited into the Punjab government’s kitty.

Shahid Hamid said the previous PML-N government had already allocated a sum of Rs 122 billion for the dam.

The amount was not paid by the party from its pocket but from the national exchequer, the top judge snapped and added in rather lighter vein that no amount has been donated for the construction of dams by the counsel’s legal firm.

The chief justice remarked Shehbaz Sharif has set an example by voluntarily returning the amount he spent on ads and asked other political leaders to follow his example.

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