Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has become a laughing stock for many due to falling standards, lack of professional services and the never ending list of controversies.

In a recent story, sources have revealed that PIA, along with the customs department lack any mechanism to check for narcotics on the planes. What this means is that every time that PIA has denied the presence of narcotics on their planes, they were just trying to cover up for their inefficiency and lack of equipment and skilled security personnel.

In May, a PIA crew was detained at the Heathrow Airport after heroin was seized from the plane. And this is not the first time that such news has surfaced. It keeps happening from time to time, and only highlights how drug traffickers possibly use PIA to smuggle narcotics, possibly with the collusion of employees and crew members.

This becomes easier for the traffickers to manage when the basic structure of drug checking is absent. All the luggage and goods that go in the cargo remain scrutiny free due to lack of scanners in the area. And where scanners are actually present, they are out of order.

The Customs Department has taken the responsibility of setting up a “currency detection and rummaging unit”. At the same time, they have ordered new scanners and have asked for sniffer dogs to make the detection of drugs and narcotics easier.

Traffickers by now know all means through which they can get their drugs aboard. It is not only restricted to the cargo but also done through catering vans, delivering food trolleys. No security personnel checks up on these vans, and hence, the task of the trafficker becomes easy. With drugs finding their way so easily on board flights, opening up investigations against employees that might be involved is paramount in order to bring the trafficking problem into control.

While the customs department and PIA are busy in maligning each other; the fault lies at both ends. It is the responsibility of both to ensure the non-presence of narcotics. And this has to be done through increasing security personnel, installing cameras, using sniffer dogs, and holding everyone accountable for mismanagement. Pakistan cannot and should not be dealing with a drug problem at the moment.