Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered to stop the privatisation of Allama Iqbal International Airport today, reported Waqt News.

According to details, the court has asked federal government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to submit their reply within four weeks.

The applicant argued that under law CAA has rights to control the management of the airport.

Privatisation of the airport is a direct threat to national security, said the applicant.

Earlier, sources suggested that federal government is planning to privatise all three major airports of Pakistan.

In January last year it was announced that federal government is planning to privatize its national carrier by July, following years of crushing losses and mismanagement that have battered the airline’s reputation.

The government converted PIA's state-owned status to a "commercial entity" through an ordinance, but stopped short of announcing its privatization plans.

That move sparked a fierce backlash among many of PIA s 15,000 employees, who rallied at major airports across the country.

PIA’s cumulative losses were 227 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) as of June 2014. The government had to inject 12 to 15 billion rupees annually to keep the airline alive and pay employees.

PIA, one of the world s leading airlines until the 1970s, now suffers from frequent cancellations and delays and has been involved in numerous controversies over the years, including the jailing of a drunk pilot in Britain in 2013.

It has also faced problems acquiring security clearances to the European Union for cargo flights. The airline has also traditionally handed out tens of thousands of free tickets each year, contributing to its losses.