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Islamabad: Ex-Pak Minister’s disclosure on dubious pilots blamed for PIA ban

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Islamabad: The Pakistan National Assembly Standing Committee on Aviation has held former Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan responsible for the financial woes of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the ban on it imposed by several countries, including the US and the UK.

In a meeting held under the chairmanship of Syed Mobeen Ahmed, the committee members lamented that the flag carrier had to suffer “irreparable damages” in the wake of the former Aviation Minister’s statement in the National Assembly, The Express Tribune reported.

The panel chalked up the ongoing woes of the state entity to the former minister’s “mindlessness” and “disregard for national
interest”, saying the speech “broke the national institution’s backbone”.

The PIA landed in hot water in the wake of its flight PK-8303 crashing in Karachi on May 22, 2020, and the subsequent announcement by Sarwar of the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams.

Sarwar had disclosed in parliament that 150 pilots working for the national carrier had “dubious licences”, The Express Tribune reported.

During Monday’s meeting, the committee expressed its concern over the fake degrees of pilots as it lamented the “bad reputation which crippled its flight operations to Europe.

The committee directed the Aviation Ministry to submit a detailed report regarding flight operations in Europe in the next meeting.

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