RAWALPINDI: The federal government on Friday appointed retired Flight Lieutenant Khaqan Murtaza as director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, a high-profile position that was vacant for quite some time.

A notification on the subject issued by the Establishment Division said: “The federal government has appointed Flt Lt (Retd) Khaqan Murtaza, a BS-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, presently posted under government of Sindh, as director general (of) Civil Aviation Authority, under section 10 of the Civil Servant Act, 1973 with immediate effect and until further orders.”

Mr Murtaza is currently working as principal secretary to the Sindh governor. He is also the chief executive officer of the Sindh Infrastructure Develop­ment Company Limited.

During hearing of a petition on Wednesday the federal government had assured the Islamabad High Court that the vacant post of CAA director general would be filled on a permanent basis in two to three days.

Earlier, the federal cabinet had given to aviation secretary the additional charge of DG, CAA. The IHC had directed the government to submit recruitment notification of the director general of CAA until Dec 8.

Chief Executive Officer of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Air Marshal Arshad Malik welcomed the appointment and extended best wishes to Mr Murtaza.

Spokesman for PIA said the appointment of a permanent head of the regulator was a long-pending demand of the airline.

Air Marshal Malik said the government’s step would serve to strengthen Pakistan’s aviation industry as all the airlines operating in the country would strive to take matters forward in coordination with the CAA.

Mr Murtaza worked as the managing director of Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan, under the Ministry of Industries and Production, in 2013-14. Later, he was transferred from the post and his services were handed over to the Establishment Division.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2020