LAHORE - The PIA Managing Director has constituted a three-member inquiry committee to look into the Umrah scam wherein certain PIA officers sold seats to four blue-eyed travel agents at the lowest fare before the flights were opened for booking. The committee comprises Mamoon-ur-Rasheed, Director Airport Services, and Irshad Ghani, Director IT, and is headed by DMD Saleem Sayani who is a contract employee. Sources in the airline have revealed that the Travel Agent Association of Pakistan (TAAP) Chairman has expressed his dissatisfaction with the formation of the committee at his meeting with the PIA MD. He alleged that the Director Marketing is taking commission on every Umrah ticket allocated mostly to four or five travel agents. This has created a cartel or a monopoly by these travel agents who are exploiting the shortage created in the market and charging a premium from pilgrims and other travel or tour operators in the business, causing inconvenience to the public at large and majority of other travel agents. An officer quoting the TAAP Chairman as saying that he has proof of this irregularity. It will be of interest to note that both the directors appointed as members of the inquiry team were till recently working as GM Marketing under the administrative control of Director Marketing, until being promoted as Directors by the new MD Capt Nadeem Yousafzai in mid-March. They were also part of Director Marketings team which is being accused of wrongdoings that occurred in February and March this year. DMD Sayani and DM Marketing Imran were appointed by former MD Capt Aijaz Haroon during whose tenure such irregularities occurred for over three years. There is a clear conflict of interest involved in the choice of these two investigators. The TAAP Chairman also met the Director Marketing before he met the MD and informed him of these allegations. PIA has already lost Rs 92 million to the irregularities in the sale of over 5,190 Umrah tickets for pilgrims who were carried by 12 special extra flights operated by Boeing 747s in March, each aircraft having capacity of 433 seats. It may potentially lose over Rs1.54 billion by the end of the Umrah season, which starts in Rabi-us-Sani and finishes after the holy month of Ramadan.