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.
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.
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.
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.