Govt doing best for effective functioning of PIA: PM’s Adviser

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KARACHI, July 6 (APP): The government is doing its best to ensure
the `effective functioning’ of the Pakistan International Airlines
(PIA), said the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Aviation Division, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed
Khan, here on Thursday.
He was briefing the Special Committee meeting on the performance
of PIA held at its head office here under the chairmanship of the
Convener of the Special Committee, Senator Mushahidullah Khan.
The Adviser was of the view that the national flag carrier needs
a `good leadership ‘ which should take concrete steps on emergent
basis.
`We want to compete with the other airlines in the world’, Mehtab
stressed.
For this, he said, the premier service of the PIA was initiated
but it did not prove beneficial and thus the airlines incurred a loss
of Rs. two billion.
Mehtab pointed out that the FIA was conducting inquiry against
those who took wrong decisions about the PIA Premier Service.
The Premier Service was started with a single aircraft which,
Mehtab opined, was the cause of its failure as the customers want to
travel at their own convenience and not in accordance with the
schedule of the PIA.
He was of the view that `we have learnt the lesson from the past
mistakes. Let the PIA should be allowed to do its work, he added.
He further stated that the Board of directors (BOD) of the PIA
has been changed.
There were also briefings by the Airport Security Force (ASF),
Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and
Customs.
It was informed that during the past four months, there was
recovery of narcotics from the four flights of the PIA.
In the recovery of narcotics from PIA flight at Heathrow Airport,
12 in service and two retired employees of the PIA were `found
involved’ and action is being taken against them.
The sitting of a Chinese female with the pilot in the cockpit and
the nap by a crew member during flight has been proved and report of
these incidents would be submitted to the committee soon.
It was pointed out that to ensure that such incidents do not
recur, cameras have been installed.
The areas within the plane where narcotics had been hidden, have
been sealed and in case any smuggler would try to conceal narcotics
the seal would broke.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan was of the view that PIA and other
organizations should prepare a coordinated strategy so that such
incidents should be avoided in future.
He maintained that there should be no dereliction on the part
of the PIA employees so that the Airline should retain its past glory.
Senator Sherry Rehman asked about the extent of loss in view of
the Premier Service.
Senator Gen (Retd) Abdul Qayyum demanded that PIA flights from
Quetta and other cities be enhanced.
Senator Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi called for further strengthening security to pervent
smuggling of narcotics.