Licences of only 50 PIA pilots out of 262 cancelled, IHC told
In a major development, the federal government admitted in writing that the licences of only 50 pilots were cancelled out of the 262 which had been earlier declared suspicious, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Saturday.
The federal government submitted this reply before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a case pertaining to a petition filed by a pilot against the cancelling of his licence and termination of service.
However, the government made an interesting request, saying the IHC should suspend hearing till the Supreme Court delivered the final judgment on the coronavirus suo motu case because the instant matter was also attached to that one.
According to the reply, the FIA is holding an inquiry against the bogus pilots and the criminal proceedings will possibly start soon. Therefore, the court should be provide any relief to the petitioner.
It also says that the aviation secretary had initially ordered an inquiry against the 262 pilots whose licences were declared suspicious. However, 50 licences were found to be bogus with the remaining 212 cleared.
About the sanctions imposed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the government says these can only be lifted after on site or remote audit which is scheduled to start next month.
The reply came as Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar has repeatedly defended in statement ever since the May 22 PIA plane crash in Karachi that the licences of 262 pilots were fake.
However, there was a little modification later when he claimed in the Senate that he had used the words “dubious” and not “fake” on the floor of the National Assembly. But the reality is totally opposite.
This modification was a result of pressure as the Civil Aviation Authority, being the country’s sole issuing authority, had said that all the licences were genuine.
Meanwhile, the only thing the country got during this episode is international sanctions and further losses for the PIA, making it joke around the globe, amid the talk about its privatisation.