ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee for Aviation held its session on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan. During the session, committee members expressed conflict over the matter pertaining to restoration of employees terminated from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) service.
Government members opposed the proposal after which the committee chairman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Senator Mushahidullah called up the list of officers who verified the fake degrees in the next session.
The standing committee also held discussion over aviation division’s development budget for the next fiscal year and the matter pertaining to termination of PIA employees.
In his briefing to the committee, DG Met said the aviation division has prepared plans for various development projects costing Rs13 billion for the next fiscal year, including construction of walls on aviation land in Balochistan and projects with cooperation from World Bank and Turkey.
18 new planes, new routes planned for PIA
Senator Noman Wazir demanded whether surveillance radars could also be used, to which aviation secretary Shahrukh Nusrat replied radars currently held by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are not meant for monitoring weather conditions as Met radars observe whether through water droplets.
Senator Wazir noted the radars which could not track super floods are not useful. DG Met told the committee there was no such system that could warn the country of floods. All of the country except south Punjab and North of Karachi is on the fault line of an earthquake.
On the other side, chairman committee while discussing the matter pertaining to termination of PIA employees over fake degrees said those who lost their jobs are not able to run their households and deserved relief.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Maula Baksh Chandio said the responsible higher officials should also be terminated like the abrupt removal of lower level employees.
“Names of the officers responsible for checking educational certifications should be revealed,” demanded the senator noting these officials exhibited negligence even when having an ample time of three months and hence deserve punishment.
Similarly, Senator Wazir wanted death penalty for those having fake degrees after which the committee sought a list of officers responsible for verification of degrees.
Wazir further accused the committee chairman of seeking relaxation for those terminated over fake degrees as they were linked to him, to this Mushahidullah replied he was not related to anyone in PIA and he’s only concerned of the larger public interest.
The senator, however, maintained the chairman was distorting facts and the case for fake degrees must be strictly dealt with. The chairman censured his statements and said that he was not obliged to have his approval for his remarks.
The PML-N senior leader also said key PIA personnel had taken positions on fake degrees and after twenty years they were removed.
“Those who failed to verify employment documents and degrees during the probation period should also be punished,” he said.
Meanwhile, the aviation secretary told the committee Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone for Gwadar airport on March 29.
During the proceedings, PPP senator Maula Baksh Chandio and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Samina Saeed had a verbal clash. Saeed maintained the committee needs to address the problems of PIA rather than the employees terminated on fake degrees.