Concerns of PIA employees must be addressed: Imran Khan

Published: February 2, 2016
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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference in Islamabad on February 02, 2016. PHOTO: PTI

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan addresses a press conference in Islamabad on February 02, 2016. PHOTO: PTI

Amid continuing protests by the national flag carrier, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has demanded the government to address the concerns of the employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

“Rulers have always resorted to violence on the masses. The rulers are in a habit of killing innocent people,” Imran said while addressing a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Instead of dismissing the workers, the PTI chief called for reforms, asking the government to convince the people about the benefits of privatisation.

“We did not dismiss the health workers in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but introduced reforms in the health sector despite opposition,” he claimed.

PTI to launch countrywide protest

“The government must work towards satisfying the PIA employees. It must tell the common people what benefits were reaped from the privatisation of other institutions before it takes any further step.”

Announcing country-wide protests, the PTI leader said his party will launch protests in several parts of the country from February 6 against “anti-people policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government”.

“I will personally join the protests.”

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The PTI chairman said the government had exempted the rich from paying taxes but the poor were forced to pay new taxes, which have added to their misery.

The government is not reducing oil prices despite a global fall in the petroleum-related products, he added.

Imran also criticised the government for taking loans for building the Orange Line Metro Train project in Lahore.

“No government ever took such huge loans in the history of Pakistan. Once the government takes loan, international lenders force it to impose heavy taxes on the poor.”

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Feb 2, 2016 - 5:37PM

    I voted for IK but standing against the privatization of PIA would be a huge mistake on his part. Recommend

  • Noreen Memon
    Feb 2, 2016 - 5:54PM

    Truly sad when pregnant evil is viewed as highhandedness by the ruling party just because IK has sworn to oppose everything the government does. These employees have pillaged national assets for decades and it is high time they were thrown out for good There i sonly one solution whether IKK and his cronies like it or not: close this cancer called PIA, fire everyone but give them 6 month ssalary on humanitarian grounds, and restart the airline as a new entity. Hire only on merit and make a committee of airline experts from within and abroad, management expeerts to be overseen by a team of educated, TAX PAYING parliamentarians from all major parties and provinces.Recommend

  • Sarmad
    Feb 2, 2016 - 6:30PM

    @SKN you mean we shall let PIA go for peanuts? Recommend

  • PakPower
    Feb 2, 2016 - 6:43PM

    I am a PTI supporter and I severely oppose this decision of IK. It is high time he should start showing some maturity and stop joining anti-government protests left and right. These so called PIA-employees are mostly political appointments and are siphoning off us tax-payer’s money. PTI should stay as far away from this as possible.Recommend

  • @SKN
    Feb 2, 2016 - 6:53PM

    He doesn’t care for what is right or what is wrong. He just objects to whatever the sitting government does (PML-N, Nawaz Shariff) etc. I can bet my life that if government was against privatization then you can see the same IK on news channel opposing it and saying government should privatize.
    Although i don’t support everything the government has done or has been doing but everyone sane person i know or have met is happy and saying PIA should be privatized as soon as possible.
    Rather then criticizing and watching every single move of federal government he should focus on improving the condition of KPK. I haven’t seen any of the so called CHANGE in their yet.
    Empty promises just like every other party of Pakistan.Recommend

  • SBY
    Feb 2, 2016 - 7:09PM

    I will never vote PTI again. All they know is protests. They have caused more damage to the economy than corrupt political parties.Recommend

  • Jadugar
    Feb 2, 2016 - 7:43PM

    PIA has to Change for the better before the employee concerns are addressed. Recommend

  • feedback
    Feb 2, 2016 - 7:49PM

    Just one question, what were the board of directors of PIA doing for the last decade, the CEO’s of multi billion private companies, these jaffer’s and khalid’s. Who will hold them accountable and what change will the privatization brought to their lives?Recommend

  • pervaiz
    Feb 2, 2016 - 7:57PM

    Better is for this khan keep his big mouth shut and do not enter your dirty politics into matter of PIA as we tax payers already bailed out this airline many time what kept us substandard of education and health care.Recommend

  • JBk
    Feb 2, 2016 - 8:56PM

    @Sarmad and whats your problem that? PIA has a worthless fleet with most Airframes older than 20 yrs and massive operarating debt cushioned solely by the tax payers, produces little or no profit at a period of all time low oil prices. Sometimes it better to cut your losses the trick is to know when to make that call.Recommend

  • just_someone
    Feb 2, 2016 - 9:28PM

    @Sarmad:
    Economically, you would need to give truckloads to peanuts to get rid of PIA, not even get any peanuts.
    Look at the financial accounts of the firm. After taking out the Roosevelt and the Paris hotel, it is in negative 3.5 billion dollars equity.
    Please dont comment when you have no knowledge about what is being discussed.Recommend

  • Lion King
    Feb 2, 2016 - 9:43PM

    Man everyday this person gives me more reasons to regret why I voted for PTI in Karachi.

    Anyways never again for sure.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Feb 2, 2016 - 10:23PM

    Correct me if im wrong but in his conference did IK say he is against privatization of PIA? All i could understand is that he wants govt. To not shoot the employees and educate them about privatization benefits.????Recommend

  • Adnan
    Feb 2, 2016 - 10:23PM

    Mr. Niazi, what about the concerns of Pakistan?
    PIA is loss due to the corruption done by these PIA people and Niazi is supporting these people. Pakistan is continuously bearing this loss.Recommend

  • Hina Jamal
    Feb 2, 2016 - 10:26PM

    There are no concerns of employees. Biggest issue with PIA is over-staffing. Privatization is the best option.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar
    Feb 2, 2016 - 10:54PM

    Economy of Pakistan is being damaged by 2 things:
    1. PIA
    2. Dharna politics of Niazi KhanRecommend

  • Junaid
    Feb 2, 2016 - 11:06PM

    @Sarmad:
    From where did you get the price tag and conclude that it is “peanuts” . For your info, PIA has more liabilities than assets.

    Govt should take the liabilities and hand over the control to private investors with no further loan guarantees. If it defaults thereafter, govt must not intervene. Recommend

  • UFO
    Feb 2, 2016 - 11:50PM

    IK is right on everything! Protesting is a fundamental right in democracy. Government must negotiate with the employees on strike no matter how hard it is and stop acting like a dictatorship.Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Feb 3, 2016 - 5:17AM

    @Junaid:
    You must be the Investment Banker advising the Govt???Recommend

  • ehsan
    Feb 3, 2016 - 9:50AM

    nothing wrong with privatization it will benefit the airline but it should be done properly currently there is news floating in market that a particular Saudi royal family member is being sold pia on unusually low price.

    whatever the case, the law guarantees the right to protest for every citizen. There should be murder case against government for killing PIA employees.

    Don’t forget that PIAs poor performance right now is due to the government. PPP and PML-N appointed their safarshi people in the airline forcefully and destroyed it.Recommend

  • Junaid
    Feb 3, 2016 - 10:55AM

    @Sodomite:
    You have a better option? This is pure politics going on by union on the behest of their political masters. Nothing more. Recommend

  • Junaid
    Feb 3, 2016 - 10:57AM

    @ehsan:
    With due respect. All these unions and their political masters are not making transparency a demand, they are opposing it for the sake of it only.Recommend

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