ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence took strong exception to the Civil Aviation Authority’s apparent negligence in taking to task a PIA pilot responsible for the killing of an ASF officer.

The NA defence panel met here on Thursday under the chair of Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho. The meeting was earlier scheduled on Wednesday at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Headquarters but was postponed without explaining any valid reason and informing the media. During Thursday meeting, the Committee took into account the killing of a senior official of Airport Security Force (ASF) in an aircraft mishandling incident at the Sukkur airport last month.

The NA defence panel voiced strong displeasure over the role of CAA in this regard while Director General CAA Khalid Chaudhry failed to defend his department and kept saying, “Strong action will be taken against the pilot.”  The ASF’s Commanding Officer in Nawabshah Tanvir Ahmed Khan had died after being hit at the Sukkur Airport by the propeller of an aircraft of the PIA Training Academy on February 21st.

The DG CAA had launched an investigation into the accident but it is not likely to be completed like several other CAA-led controversial probes, the details of which have been exposed in this newspaper several times.

During the Thursday hearing, Khalid Chaudhry admitted before the NA defence panel that the pilot was at fault and the ASF officer’s death had occurred due to his negligence. “We will initiate a strong action against him,” he claimed but only to be snubbed by the Committee Chairperson. “When? Next year? Or may be after that? When will you take action Mr Chaudhry? Why does it always occur that the CAA claims are confined to hollow words sans any sense and practicality?”

Dr Azra Fazal remarked as an all embarrassed DG CAA fell short of words to defend himself. “Investigation is going on,” he murmured in a trembling tone.

“I think that would also be completed in the coming years!” the Chairperson said.

She warned Chaudhry that strong action would be recommended agains