ISLAMABAD - Former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani Wednesday said that irresponsible statement of the federal government on the alleged fake and irregular licenses of pilots has resulted in grave consequences for the state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) stalwart said that the operations of PIA had been suspended in Europe and UK following a public statement of aviation minister that more than 30 percent of civilian pilots in Pakistan including a number of PIA pilots possessed fake licenses and did not qualify to fly.  “This will result in all most virtual shut down of the carrier,” Rabbani said adding that a judicial inquiry must be ordered into the motive and intent of such a statement. “It seems that grounds and reasons are being prepared to privatize PIA to the cronies of the government.”

As reported, a “secret, most urgent” notice dated June 19, 2020, had been circulated by the Cabinet Division for a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Privatization on July 1 with PIA-owned Roosevelt Hotel in New York on the agenda, PPP lawmaker said. He further said that the result of privatization was before the people as KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Company) was made K electric in the past. Had it helped the people in terms of better service, he questioned. He further said that Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) was privatized and till today huge sums of amount was outstanding against the foreign telecom company who purchased its shares. Both the privatizations took place when the incumbent Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh was in office in the previous governments, he reminded. “This government has become a slave to various cartels and mafias,” Senator Rabbani concluded.