Federal Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar on Wednesday refuted allegations of financial misappropriation in the lease agreement between Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the Boeing company for purchasing five Boeing 777-ER aircraft.
Talking to the media, after inaugurating PIA’s first Islamabad-Madina direct flight at Benazir Bhutto International Airport(BBIA), Mukhtar said that it was a good deal as these aircrafts were cheaper in price than the planes acquired on lease in 2002.
The Defence Minister said that leveling corruption charges against the lease agreement was injustice to the country.
“No payment has been made to the Boeing company and PIA will make payment after earnings,” he added.
About the slot agreement, he said that PIA had got booked slots for its aircrafts which were exchangeable.
On entry fee of Benazir Bhutto International Airport, he said that the fee was imposed to ensure security and easy movement of passengers.
Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director, PIA, Nadeem Yousafzai said after Islamabad-Madina direct flight, the PIA would also launch direct flights from Peshawar and Quetta to the holy city to facilitate passengers going for pilgrimage. He added that the national flag carrier was already flying direct flights from Karachi and Lahore to Madina.
The Defence Minister and Managing Director, PIA also saw off passengers on the inaugural flight.
Regarding a fresh inquiry into the Air Blue crash, he said that a comprehensive and detailed inquiry had already been completed and announced.
On the issue of Balochistan, the minister said that some foreign elements were behind the problem, who did not want a developed and flourished Pakistan.