ISLAMABAD The passengers, especially students, who were scheduled to fly to Europe from April 15-21 but their flights were cancelled due to Iceland volcano eruption are now facing immense difficulties including visa expiry mainly because of uncooperative attitude of PIA staff. Although Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had clearly directed the PIA authorities to facilitate students, senior citizens and people having emergencies on humanitarian grounds, yet the authorities concerned were not assisting such passengers. It was learnt when this scribe visited PIA Office at The Mall, Rawalpindi, where a large number of students and other people were urging the PIA officials to accommodate them on urgent basis, besides providing them proofs and telling them about the nature of their emergencies. But the officials there were refusing them on the ground that they could not do anything in this regard. Muhammad Zaheer, a passenger, while talking to TheNation said that he was supposed to leave for Birmingham, UK, on April 17 but his flight was cancelled due to volcanic ashes. After resuming the air traffic on April 22, the PIA officials didnt facilitate him and his visa expired on April 25. He added that he provided PIA official sufficient evidence regarding the nature of his emergency. Zaheer said, I visited The Mall office thrice and tried to reconfirm my seat before the expiry date but no official of the airline bothered to listen my problem and my visa expired. I visited several time to PIA head office, at Mall Road, Rawalpindi, and even offered to purchase new ticket but to no avail. One more Pakistani origin British female passenger, who hails from Kashmir, stated that she had been staying in a hotel for the last 10 days but so far could not succeed to board on a flight. She said that she had left her two children in UK but she was compelled to stay due to air traffic problems and unsporting services of PIA. Another passenger, Malik Janisar, informed this scribe that he along with his five family members were scheduled to fly to UK on April 15 but their flight was cancelled due to volcanic issue. He added that PIA had not arranged any extra flight for the affected passengers so far. Negating the impression, GM PIA Sultan Haroon while talking to TheNation said that PIA authorities were implementing the Prime Ministers directives in letter and spirit and had been giving priority to students, senior citizens and other people. He said PIA had evolved a comprehensive strategy and according to that passengers, especially students, having emergency, if they could prove that through documentation, were given priority. He said PIA had resumed flights for abroad on April 22 and it had administrated 70 flights in six days. He said besides five extra flights, PIA had been running jumbo jets to facilitate more and more passengers. He said approximately 2,000 passengers had been leaving for their destinations in Europe, UK and other foreign countries on daily basis and the process would be completed till May 10. During April 15 to April 21, 70 flights of PIA to Europe and UK were cancelled. He said financial loss to PIA had so far not been calculated and it would be clear at the end of fiscal year, but hopefully PIA would cover up a large portion of this loss. A task force had been constituted which would focus to recover the revenue loss by working extra sections, Sultan added. Sultan said that nearly 17,800 passengers, who were scheduled to fly to Europe, UK and other foreign countries were stranded in Pakistan and out of them approximately 12,000 had so far been flown, while 3,600 were still waiting for their turn.