DUBAI: Imran Chaudhry, the Dubai-based businessman who sponsored Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) last week, said he had a long association with the premier and supported him due to his pain and struggles for Pakistan.
Addressing the ‘Breakfast at Davos’ event jointly organized by Pathfinder Group and Martin Dow Group on Thursday, Khan revealed that his Davos trip was sponsored by his friends and well-known businessmen Ikram Sehgal and Imran Chaudhry.
Chaudhry has been based in Dubai for over 35 years where he works in real estate, metals trading, and recycling. He also has investments in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and is a well-known philanthropist. Sehgal is a retired military officer and businessman.
In an interview with Arab News on Sunday, Chaudhry declined to share details of how much money he had contributed to Khan’s trip but said he supported the PM “because of his personal characteristics.”
“I am not a politician or into politics but I support Khan for his personality, his honesty and for the pain he has for Pakistan,” Chaudhry said. “My association with Khan is 30 years old, since the time he was a cricketer and was building his cancer hospital, Shaukat Khanum.”
On January 22, on the sidelines of the Davos meet, Chaudhry also hosted a dinner for Khan jointly with Saudi businessman Khalid Juffali in honor of the delegations from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The dinner was attended by Dr. Klaus Schwabs, CEO of WEF, and other top businessmen from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In a press release issued prior to Khan’s Davos visit, the government said the trip was expected to cost only $68,000.
“Saving is part of the prime minister’s ongoing robust drive in which he has also directed that the expenditures upon his upcoming WEF participation be minimized,” said the press release.