Employees call for withdrawal of pia privatisation plan

Sep 19, 2013 | News

The Joint Action Committee of Pakistan International Airlines Employees (JACPIAE) demanded from the government on Wednesday to immediately withdraw its decision of privatising the national flag carrier and instead of selling out its 26 per cent shares in the market the PIA should be given three to six months to recover and regain its lost glory.

Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Captain Sohail Baluch, President Pakistan Airline Pilots Association, who also heads the JACPIAE, said that the government should hire a competent, honest and hardworking managing director and constitute a board for the PIA as per the Supreme Court’s instructions.

He was flanked by President CBA Hidayatullah, President Society of Aircraft Engineers Shaukat Jamsheed and office-bearers of several unions and associations of PIA.

The JACPIAE suggested formation of a judicial commission to probe all corruption cases and disciplinary matter related with the PIA as well as appointing a serving judge of the Supreme Court to sort out the issues confronting the national airline.

It called upon the government to purchase new planes and repair all the damaged and outdated aircraft on immediate basis.

The JACPIAE warned that if the government did not review and withdraw its decision of privatising the PIA then all the employees of the national flag carrier would go on peaceful protest against such decision, besides taking the matter to the court.

“We have the right to record our concerns against this decision and we will avail all available options,” the JACPIAE members said. They, however, ruled out the possibility of blocking flight and other operations at the PIA, saying, “The national flag carrier can’t afford such experiment that is why all operations would be run smoothly in favour of the airline and in the interest of the economic condition of the country.

They expressed concern that whosoever buys the 26 per cent shares would certainly have a role in the management of the national airline.

They said that if their demands were implemented in true letter and spirit on emergency basis then the government would see positive changes within six months and if the government feels that the PIA was going in loss and unable to meet its expenditures then it could go for privatising the national airline.

The JACPIAE members blamed political hiring and influence coupled with corruption and mismanagement for the prevailing sorry state of affairs at the PIA. Both the democratic and dictatorial regimes were responsible for the present situation, as only a few MDs and government officials worked outstandingly for the promotion of the PIA, they added.

“The high ranking positions were handed over to the people who were not capable to take decisions and put the PIA on the right direction,” they said, adding, “The corrupt people manipulated the situation, shut down the profit-making routes and hired inefficient people and their relatives on various posts.”

Talking about the PML-N government’s first 100 days performance, they mentioned that the government hired people for the post of MD PIA on five different occasions and on many occasions violated the directives of the Supreme Court.

They said that a meeting to this effect was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on September 12, which was participated by various federal ministers and acting Chairman PIA Nargis Sethi and MD PIA Muhammad Junaid Younus, but added that the presence of Shahid Khan Abbasi, who has close association with a private airline, has put a question mark over the government’s decision of privatising the national flag carrier.

Zeeshan Azmat
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The News International

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