ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz said all pilots, currently operating Pakistan International Airlines flights, are a hundred percent clean and clear to fly a plane after passing through extensive scrutiny.

Addressing a joint press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, along with Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Accountability Barrister Shahzad Akbar and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, the Minister said that government is making all out efforts to restore the past glory of the national flag carrier.

The Information Minister gretted the irreparable loss inflicted on PIA by the past two regimes, led by Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Commenting about the downfall of PIA, Information Minister said that Mushahidullah Khan of PML-N is one of characters responsible for the downfall of PIA, adding that Mushahidullah recruited his family at lucrative positions in PIA.

The Minister said that every department is telling a story of mismanagement and embezzlements.

A thorough probe is underway to fix irregularities

Speaking on this occasion, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi said the government is committed to making the Civil Aviation Authority and PIA the leading authority and airline of the world in terms of safety.

He said a thorough probe is underway to fix irregularities and suspicions in CAA licensing authority for pilots. He said a new licensing system was launched in 2010 under which 236 pilots were grounded till 2018. He said five people of CAA licensing authority are also under suspension.

He said that after thorough investigations, 54 pilots of PIA have been grounded adding that from 2010 to 2018, as many as 236 recruitments in PIA were made against rules and regulations. PTI government has introduced a new aviation policy since 2019.

He said that it is priority of the government to ensure protection of the national fleet’s passengers.

The Minister said that five officials of Civil Aviation Licensing Authority have been suspended, being identified as culprits for issuing licenses to suspicious pilots. He also added that strict action is being taken against elements responsible for making recruitments in CAA and PIA against rules and regulations.

He said that time is not far off when CAA will be included in the top management institutions of the country.

Meanwhile, SAPM Shahzad Akbar speaking with the media persons said that in the past, the apex court took notice on corruption in state institutions. He said that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had yet to provide his reply on the issue of 20 billion rupees subsidy.

Barrister Shahzad Akbar said that recovery from pilots will be made after thorough investigations.  He also said we accept the verdict of the apex court in the case of Justice Qazi Faiz Essa.

He said that sugar scarcity issue is in the apex courts adding that PTI government aims at setting thw price of sugar in public approach

Responding to a question, the Minister for Information said that there are 4000 pilots in India with fake degrees but Pakistan taking action against pilots on forged documents taking it as wise act as Pakistan does not want to hide reality.