Apropos to the news in print & electronic media regarding the incident of PK-758 on 21st September 2014, on which President PALPA Capt. Amir Hashmi, was the operating captain and was illegally detained by the Lahore customs along with his crew.
President PALPA at no time was either arrested nor charged with any breach of law or regulations. Contrary to what was reported in the media, Capt. Amir Hashmi had an amount of £2,400/- approx and no cell phone or any other contraband item in his possession.
It is worth mentioning that as per the regulations of State Bank of Pakistan, any person is allowed to bring into Pakistan an amount of USD10,000/- without a declaration.
Although being totally legal and legitimate, Capt. Amir Hashmi and his crew were detained by Lahore Customs on the orders of DC Airport Mr. Usman Bajwa for over 10 hours, without being in violation of any law of Govt. of Pakistan. During the period of detention, Capt. Amir Hashmi several times requested Mr. Bajwa to quote any rule or regulation according to which the entire crew of PK-758 was being detained. Instead of quoting any such rule or regulation, Mr. Bajwa was adamant that the crew will only be allowed to go if Chairman FBR advises him to do so.
Mr.Bajwa was also unaware of the fact that Appendix-D” of Private Property List (Crew Declaration Form) is for the purpose of declaring Pak rupees only amongst other items and therefore, he kept on insisting that the crew should also declare foreign currency which is contrary to the rules of State Bank of Pakistan (USD10,000/-).
Mr. Bajwa also informed Capt. Hashmi that “I had prior information regarding the carriage of cell phones by the crew members of PK-758. Although I have not been able to find any cell phones but bringing any foreign currency into Pakistan is also illegal”.
The aforementioned sequence of events of PK-758 clearly signify that the Lahore customs were acting at the behest of someone to malign and defame the President and our prestigious Association. The Executive Committee of PALPA has taken a very serious note of this event and has requested that an impartial inquiry must be carried out of this incident to identify and punish the culprits behind the plot to frame the President of PALPA, failing which we reserve the right to plan our further course of action or seek justice from a Honourable Court of Law.
With Best Regards,
Capt. Sohail Ahmed