The government waited for almost three years during which PIA nosedived to technical insolvency and ignored repeated protests by employees and reports by media highlighting financial and administrative irregularities of MD Capt Aijaz Haroon and his team, before removing him. Things were allowed to go out of hand, and only when a full shutdown was organized with cancellation of 265 flights in four days, did it finally dawn on powers that matter, to let go of the MD. PIA Corporate reports from April 2008 and the deterioration in service and flight regularity should have been the basis for his removal, instead of need to grind the national airline to a halt. It should be noted that PIA has enough passengers, sufficient to have a Seat Factor that could generate enough revenues to make it profitable. PIA with a comparable passenger load charges almost the same fare that other airlines in the region making profits or even Turk Hava Yollari are charging. What needs to be investigated is why PIA is going in a loss, although it earns sufficient revenues from passengers and why it has ignored its cargo revenues. It is pilferage and corruption that should be curtailed and this can only be done if the government has the political will to do so. As long as PIA's top executive corridors are not surgically cleansed and the airline not provided with clean and qualified executives, things will never improve. Cronyism must not be allowed to override merit in appointments, promotions and foreign postings as has been done for years in PIA. One only hopes that lessons will be learnt. The employees of PIA also need to deliver and stand up and ensure that merit prevails and the corporation is allowed to be run on purely commercial basis with zero tolerance for nepotism and corruption. MALIK T ALI, Lahore, February 12.