Flight PK-661: MPAs demand high-level probe into air crash

Published: December 10, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has demanded a high-level and transparent inquiry into this week’s plane crash near Abbottabad that left all 48 passengers and crew dead.

Members of the assembly made the demand in a unanimous resolution moved by ANP lawmaker Sardar Hussain Babak.  Through the resolution, the house also expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of so many people and offered prayers for the departed souls.

They also urged the federal government to provide adequate monetary compensation to the heirs of the victims.

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The mover of the resolution, Babak, while commenting on news reports that the left engine of the aircraft malfunctioned, said: “If one engine of the aircraft is out of order then the second needed to be switched on. We  need to be investigate why that was not done.”

Members of the assembly saluted the captain of the aircraft for his heroism and bravery. PML-N lawmaker Sardar Hussain Nalota pointed out that by diverting the plane towards the hilly areas the pilot had saved the lives of villages it was flying over.

“Had the pilot not diverted the plane, hundreds of villagers would have died,” Nalota added.

JUI-F lawmaker Fazal Ghafoor questioned the ‘airworthiness’ of the aircraft and asked the department concerned “if there was any fault in the aircraft, then it shouldn’t have been given the clearance to fly”.

As more lawmakers debated the air crash, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmaker Haider Ali moved another resolution in the house that sought details of the hiring done in PIA during the past 40 years.

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The resolution also demanded details of the surplus pool in the national flag carrier and the reasons behind the financial crisis in the organisation.

“Details of hiring in PIA through political influence should also be provided,” the resolution read.

In his response, Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman said: “Around 17,000 employees are currently working in PIA against the requirement of only 3,000.

“More than Rs8 billion is spent on the salaries of PIA workers while the airline has a deficit of over Rs5 billion,” Farman disclosed.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2016.

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