Lahore  -   The Lahore High Court on Thursday ordered amendment to a petition seeking that the “appointment” of Pakistan International Airline’s chief executive officer and other officials be declared as illegal, and also sought proof in the petition.

However, the petitioner has amended the plea that is fixed for today for hearing before the court of Justice Asim Hafeez.

At outset of the hearing, the court directed the petitioner to amend the paragraph 6 and seven of the petition. The court remarked that no notification had been issued with regard to the appointment so the petition does not fall in the citatory of co-warranto. The court then directed for amending the petition and writing that the respondent is “exercising the powers of CEO and President” instead of “he has been appointed as CEO and President of PIA” as no notification in this respect has so far been issued.

The court also directed petitioner Nabeel Javed Kahloon Advocate to give proof that Mr Arshad Malik had been performing as CEO and president of PIA. The court put an objection on the petition and directed for amending the same.

Paragraph 6 says, “That the respondent no. 7 is exercising the powers of Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines, whereas the PIA has now been converted into a Public Limited Company by the PIA conversion Act 2017, hence the procedure of appointment of CEO is very clear in the law, whereas the CEO shall only be appointed by publishing an advertisement in the newspaper and through a proper selection procedure.”

Arshad Malik along with seven other officers of Air Commodore and of lower ranks “without any notification and approval of the competent authority” took over the charge of chief executive officer and a self-created post of President of Pakistan International Airlines on 11-11-18.

The petitioner is of the opinion that on account of not installing right man for right job on such key positions, Pakistan International Airlines might also “become the white elephant like Pakistan Steel Mills”.

He says Malik is exercising the powers of PIA CEO whereas the airline has now been converted into a public limited company by the PIA Conversion Act 2017 whereas the CEO shall only be appointed by publishing an advertisement in the newspaper and through a proper selection procedure. He also says he (Mr Malik) had illegally declared himself as the PIA president whereas no such post is available under the Company law.

“Malik does not have the relevant experience or qualifications for the job.  Indeed the recent Auditor  General’s report  commissioned by the Supreme Court to examine the losses incurred by PIA over the last 10 years concluded that one of the main reasons for PIA’s failure was the appointment of inappropriate CEO’s who did not have the requisite business or the Airline industry experience,” it says.

The petitioner prayed PIA President and CEO Arshad Malik along with officers of the Pakistan Air Force be restrained from performing their duties in the PIA.