Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been incurring losses for successive years due to several appointments at lucrative positions and state backing; there was no feedback channel for employees to improve the quality of their service. This is why we have witnessed a drop in sales for the airline. The government of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) decided to not privatise these state-run businesses to ensure job security and looked to prioritise revitalisation of the processes in such organisations, however, the appointment of PIA’s CEO and an internal audit have pointed out the discrepancies in the project. The appointment of PIA’s CEO was not done based on proper merit, which makes has brought forth uncomfortable questions despite the capability of the person involved. It is important for the government to not forgo protocols in place for appointments because that takes away the credibility of their own narrative, which represents appointments based on merit.

This incident has not only wasted state resources but also time, which this government seems to be lacking at the moment. Due to radical changes in most of the government bodies, work and its understanding are delayed, creating a lot of problems for the system and its people. The Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) has urged the government to initiate a private investigation into the matter and also advised the concerned individuals to return the money to the state. Such controversies question the credibility and decision making power of the government, along with hinting a refusal to abide by the norms and procedures in place. At the same time, it is also reminiscent of the government’s decision to offer an extension to the chief of army staff in a bid to control the situation with India, however, internally it creates a lot of problems if the government does not follow the rules in place, and that again impacts the functioning and output of this government.

It is about time that the government also reconsiders privatisation of ventures like PIA because they are a burden on the national exchequer and have not been able to sustain themselves and bring themselves out of the loss of revenues. All state-owned institutions require a feedback channel that allows for performance reviews along with auditing of the appointments to ensure that proper protocols are in place and the set up will provide revenue to the state and the enterprise. PIA will once again face yet another crisis due to mismanagement. Till the time of the investigation of the appointments along with the selection of the new CEO, a lot of significant time and progress will be lost in the process. The government is no longer in a position to commit these mistakes with the kind of challenges it is dealing with.