Govt will bring PIA at par with Qatar Airways, says PM Nawaz

Published: February 11, 2016
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PM Nawaz Sharif being received by Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasir Bin Khalifa Al-Thani at Hamad International Airport, Doha on February 10, 2016. PHOTO: PID

PM Nawaz Sharif being received by Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasir Bin Khalifa Al-Thani at Hamad International Airport, Doha on February 10, 2016. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday his government will work towards bringing the national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, at par with Qatar Airways.

“Now that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) workers’ strike has ended, we will work towards bringing it at par with Qatar Airways” the premier said while addressing Pakistani community in Qatar’s capital of Doha.

Qatar Airways named Skytrax’s world’s best airline of 2015

Shunning aside protests, the premier said the national carrier can be brought to the level of the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar, Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways was voted the world’s best airline at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. Qatar Airways has been named the number one airline twice before, in 2011 and 2012, and twice been voted runner-up. In 2015, the airline also took home prizes for best airline in the Middle East and best business class seat.

The premier’s statement comes a day after scoring a victory against the unions of PIA. JACPIAE called off its strike on Tuesday after eight days against the government’s decision to privatise the national carrier. The strike saw cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Further, PM Nawaz said Pakistan has successfully broken the backbone of terrorists owing to operation Zarb-e-Azb. “We are taking all measures to bring the country out of darkness and certain that Pakistan will have access to cheap electricity through LNG [liquefied natural gas] import,” he said.

Shahbaz avoids giving firm assurances on PIA future

PM Nawaz said Pakistan’s security situation is improving while peace has been revived in Karachi, the financial hub of the country.

On Wednesday, Pakistan and Qatar signed an agreement in Doha, according to which Pakistan will be provided with a billion dollars’ worth of LNG annually as part of the PM’s two-day official visit to the Arab country.

Furthermore, projects relating to solar and hydro power are being initiated to ensure availability of electricity, the premier added. “I will also soon lay foundation stone of Karahi-Lahore motorway.”

“Only two-and-a-half years ago, Pakistan was on the verge of becoming a defaulter country but now is on the path to progress,” PM Nawaz said.

Pakistan, Qatar sign $1bn LNG deal

He also said it is something to take note of that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are on a record level now.

The prime minister said to cease functioning of industries and deprive local consumers of electricity is not a service to the country and all previous the governments should have thought about it.

Taking aim at recent protests, he said, “Now when Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) strike has ended, we will work towards bringing it at par with Qatar Airlines.”

According to him there has been increase in trade with Qatar, adding that economic signs are positive for the country and it is on a fast track to development.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Jibran
    Feb 11, 2016 - 4:58PM

    How? Qatar airways has deep pockets and runs highly subsidized operations. Are you ready to go for the war of attrition with Kuwait, Qatar, and UAE? The rulers of these countries consider their airlines as their pets and are willing to lower prices further just to take the market share.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Feb 11, 2016 - 4:59PM

    Using the expertise of Senator Mushahidullah and his brothers?Recommend

  • Dong
    Feb 11, 2016 - 5:16PM

    Well offcourse, now that the airline has been gifted to Sharif’s friends, he will use the entire government machinery to make it an efficient organization. A shameless premier who does corruption in the form of nepotism in broad daylight and is cheered on by millions.Recommend

  • Istaburg
    Feb 11, 2016 - 7:08PM

    Noble thought ….how dear PM will that happen?Recommend

  • Imran
    Feb 11, 2016 - 8:25PM

    there has to be some basis before giving such statementsRecommend

  • PrasadDeccani
    Feb 11, 2016 - 9:17PM

    @Istaburg: My guess is that GoP will sell PIA to Qatar Air. Once the transaction completes PIA will merge with Qatar Air and thus will be on a par with Qatar Air. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Feb 11, 2016 - 11:27PM

    That’s an insult to the peoples intelligence.Recommend

  • freed
    Feb 12, 2016 - 5:38AM

    more loans, more corruption, more indirect taxes on masses and the country is fixed. Wow no one has tried this approach before. Recommend

  • bajwa
    Feb 12, 2016 - 6:28AM

    If PM had said – “Govt will bring Qatar Airways at par with PIA”, i would have believed him, but not the other way round. Recommend

  • Naseem shah
    Feb 12, 2016 - 6:35AM

    What a shame. Day light robbery to the poor nation who can not see right r wrong. They just clap there hands behind the curept leaders.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Feb 12, 2016 - 8:35AM

    @Istaburg:
    Henceforth all PIA jets will be powered by metrobus engines and thus realising the ultimate in fuel economy.Recommend

  • JSM
    Feb 12, 2016 - 12:54PM

    This a good joke.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Feb 12, 2016 - 7:39PM

    Earlier on, Nawaz in his exalted state of mind had promised to make Pakistan Asian Tiger. However, the offer was not taken by the public with equal enthusiasm. In fact, a leading newspaper published a cartoon, which showed Nawaz Sharif looking at a mouse with a magnifying glass, seeing it obviously as a Tiger. And that gave us a fair idea as to what sort of Asian Tiger the Sharif Brothers are likely to make us.

    And now, in the same spirit, Nawaz Sharif has vowed to bring PIA at par with Qatar Airways, which has been voted as the world’s best airline.

    And I suppose for accomplishing this feat, he would use a mechanism not much different from that adopted to turn Pakistan into an Asian Tiger.

    And my guess is that Nawaz Sharif would employ the simplest possible means to bring PIA at par with Qatar Airways, which would perhaps be to make it a part of Qatar Airways. Perhaps the deal has already been made. And knowing the secretive ways in which Nawaz Sharif works, like the pricing formula for LNG import from Qatar was not ‘disclosed’ until nearly a year after the arrival of the first consignment, he is waiting for an opportune moment to make the disclosure.

    Perhaps that is why the government’s top official entrusted the job of privatisation kept insisting during a recent discussion programme that PIA will indeed be privatized.

    And that also is why during a recent meeting with the officials of the PIA Joint Action Committee, de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif did not make a clear-cut pronouncement about PIA’s future.

    And while all this massive bungling is going on elsewhere in the country, Pakistan’s most powerful team of terrorism and crime busters is busy feverishly pursuing its noble mission in Sindh, to turn into a land of milk and honey.

    But of course it is not for us to question the priority list and the order of preferences of the wise, and valiant men.

    Karachi.Recommend

  • Feb 12, 2016 - 9:23PM

    There is no doubt that the overstaffed PIA needs drastic surgery. How do people expect the Government to be indifferent and do nothing?
    Asat Ali Shah
    LahoreRecommend

  • Usman Sherazi
    Feb 13, 2016 - 3:51AM

    Yeah…just like you’ve brought Pakistan at par with all other major superpowers and already got rid of loadshedding and corruption within no time!!Recommend

  • Feb 13, 2016 - 5:01AM

    let pm nawaz sharif do whats right for pakistan where nawaz sharif stands in the past nawaz sharif operated yellow cabs for pakistan which no other pm has done nawaz sharif has made metro shopping malls roads nawaz sharif is looking in to future for better pakistan… dont put jealous comments.. let pakistan bring bright green colour in to future where it stands let paaak pakistan merge forward with a smile.. i can see comments that not letting pakistan go forward other than bring it down if your from pakistan give a big support from your hearts..Recommend

  • sufyaan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 5:02AM

    loveRecommend

  • Jan
    Feb 13, 2016 - 10:53AM

    Departments runs by sincerity, but for Pakistan ” Departments ruins by sincerity”Recommend

  • Thomas Houlahan
    Feb 17, 2016 - 5:36AM

    Nonsense. Qatar Airways is the best by a wide margin and will so remain.Recommend

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