LAHORE - Despite disciplinary action recommended by the PIA chairman and the director engineering against an engineer allegedly involved in corruption worth Rs 48 million, the director administration is reluctant to proceed against the accused for unknown reasons, the documents available with The Nation revealed.
It is worth mentioning here that an inquiry into the issue was finalised about six months back while the PIA chairman also endorsed the action recommended in the inquiry report and issued instructions to take action against him. The inquiry against the then deputy chief engineer (engine overhaul), Sohail Saqib, established the charges of giving undue favour to his foreign aides by helping them out with PIA inventory spare parts for the overhauling process of their engines. Moreover, he also allegedly deceived the customers. One of the examples is Hellenic Imperial Airways CF6-50 engine with serial number 517-987, the main contention for the inquiry. The other customer, FDI (flight director Inc), was behaved in such a way that he refused to come to PIA again and even to Pakistan.
The inquiry into corruption in Engine Overhaul Division of PIA Engineering was held on the orders of the managing director. The members of the committee concluded the inquiry with no results. The inquiry members were so unfortunate that they were displaced from their positions and the inquiry remained undecided.
Then another inquiry, headed by Mumtaz A Zubairi, was conducted by a committee also comprising Chief Engineer Quality Assurance (chairman), Zulfiqar Sheikh, GM Fleet Planning (Member), Ghayyur Nasim, DCE AA (member) and Nisar A Sangi DCE TSE EOH (member). The committee, its report submitted to the director engineering and maintenance, observed that in the previous report transfer of blades was considered as a technical discrepancy. As a matter of fact the case was not a technical discrepancy, but an intentional act.
The director engineering and maintenance wrote in his comments that the enquiry committee in its report had found Sohail saqib guilty. “However, even if it is assumed that the wrongdoing was without any element of dishonesty and bad intent, it is still a gross professional misconduct and negligence,” he remarked and said the man at this level of status and responsibility should not go unpunished. He recommended his demotion/reduction to a lower pay group and cadre for a period of three years. He further recommended Saqib’s transfer from the engineering department to some other department, proposing that PIA training centre would be the most suitable place where his experience could be utilised.
It is worth mentioning that the Cabinet Secretariat, Aviation Division, Islamabad, in its last reminder out of more than five to the PIA MD, has directed him to conclude the enquiry one way or the other within 15 days and forward the same to this division under intimation to the Prime Minister’s Office. The airline is fast heading towards a tragic fall like Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel and other national assets of the country. The corporation, already on its knees, is being weakened by the termites from within, said an officer of PIA on condition of not to be named.
The rising fuel prices and the country’s overall economic situation may be one of the contributing factors, but the meltdown faced by the internal corruption cannot be ruled out, he lamented.
When contacted, the spokesman for PIA said that the corporation’s inquiry process was lengthy and that it would be done shortly. He added he would be in position to offer his comments, later.