It was reported that an independent investigation will be conducted to ascertain the causes and amount of compensation paid to next of kin of those unfortunate souls who lost their lives on board the ill-fated PK661.

The question arises, are these mere routine political statements, almost like an SOP which are issued when such tragedies occur? Can anybody in CAA, the PM House, members of parliament and all those who matter explain what compensation, if any, was paid to those who perished aboard ill-fated Bhoja Air Boeing? The MD of Bhoja Air, a dual national with a Canadian passport, was in China when the crash occurred and he managed to flee to Gulf. It was the CAA of Pakistan which issued him the Airline Operators License and it was their legal mandatory obligation to ensure that owners had sufficient bank guarantees and that their aircraft was airworthy. It is also supposed to collect taxes from every passenger, responsible for the licensing of air crew and all other requirement to ensure safe conduct of any commercial flight.

The bitter reality is that the CAA has too many conflicts of interest and is involved in commercial ventures from owning airports, building commercial outlets at airports, giving contracts for building mega projects like New Islamabad Airport and operating navigational aids. All of these could have contributed to the occurrence of a fatal air-crash. The establishment of an independent Accident Investigation Board, which is not administratively or financially linked with either the CAA or any other aviation operational entity is very vital.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, December 9.