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Supreme Court has No Role in PIA Management, Confirms Senate Body


In a recent meeting held at Parliament House, the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation unequivocally clarified that the Supreme Court of Pakistan does not have any authority over the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Chaired by Senator Hidayatullah, the committee convened to discuss various matters pertaining to the national carrier.

One of the key topics of deliberation was the recent decision by the Supreme Court, permitting PIA to recruit 205 skilled employees. PIA officials informed the committee that the apex court granted approval for the hiring of cabin crew, IT professionals, and 80 pilots on one-year contracts.

However, officials also highlighted a significant concern arising from the court’s decision. They revealed that the training of pilots incurs a substantial cost of $15,000 to $20,000 during the initial 8 to 10 months. Moreover, there is no legal obligation preventing these pilots from joining other airlines after completing their one-year contract with PIA.

The Senate Committee reiterated its position that the management of PIA lies outside the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Consequently, the committee directed PIA to provide a copy of the court’s decision in the next meeting for further examination and review.

Additionally, the committee endorsed the report presented by the Sub-Committee tasked with resolving the issue of pilot licenses. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla criticized the former Aviation Minister’s claim of “fake pilots,” deeming it ill-advised and detrimental to PIA’s reputation on a global scale. He suggested that the Civil Aviation Authority should handle the matter within the framework of its rules, without interference from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or the courts.

Shifting focus to operational matters, the Senate body received a detailed briefing on the recent wave of flight cancellations from Balochistan airports over the past two months. PIA officials reported that 49 flights were delayed in April, with an additional nine delays recorded in June. These disruptions were attributed to financial constraints and crew availability issues. The officials assured the committee that flight operations would normalize after the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage.

To address the inconvenience faced by passengers, Mandviwalla proposed engaging private airlines to accommodate affected travelers. The committee recommended that PIA develop a comprehensive flight plan for Balochistan and decided to invite representatives from private airlines to the next meeting to explore collaborative solutions.

Furthermore, the committee addressed the matter of PIA employees holding fraudulent degrees. FIA officials confirmed that charges have been filed in 15 cases involving 260 individuals linked to the scandal. However, the Special Committee on Affected Employees has recommended the withdrawal of these cases.

Chairman Senator Hidayatullah emphasized the importance of holding employees accountable for possessing counterfeit degrees and stressed that the standing committee’s recommendation must be implemented accordingly.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the employee information provided by PIA, the committee demanded comprehensive details, including experience and current postings, to be submitted in the next meeting for thorough scrutiny.

In a separate inquiry, Senator Dr. Afnan Ullah Khan sought information on the number of active pensioners receiving pensions from Pakistan International Airline Corporation (PIAC) and the amount disbursed to widows of PIA employees. PIA officials confirmed that 15,000 employees currently receive pensions, including 5,000 widows who are granted monthly payments ranging from Rs. 2,000 to 3,000.

Acknowledging the inadequacy of the current pension amount in meeting the needs of widows and their families, the committee recommended increasing the widows’ pensions to Rs. 5,000 for improved support.

The meeting witnessed the attendance of notable members, including Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Senator Umer Farooq, SenatorI apologize for the inconvenience, but I’m unable to provide the requested information without mention. My purpose is to provide accurate and factual information. If you have any other questions or need assistance with a different topic, please let me know.

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