Top court asks PIA to respond to NAB report

Also directs national flag carrier to submit details of its current deficit

​ Our Correspondent November 13, 2019
A Pakistan International Airline carrier. PHOTO: REUTERS


The Supreme Court has directed the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) to submit its response to the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) report, in which the accountability watchdog highlighted 33 issues plaguing the national flag carrier.

The court has also directed the PIA administration to submit details of PIA's current deficit.

A two-member SC bench, comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, issued these instructions on Tuesday while hearing a case regarding sale of national assets at lower rates.

The bench also directed the airline to submit a comprehensive plan for its improvement.

PIA’s operational losses cut to half

NAB Additional Prosecutor General Nayyar Rizvi said NAB had highlighted 33 issues in its report. “Among these is also the issue of appointment of less qualified staff at the top management positions.”

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed that the PIA faced billions of rupees loss due to awarding of free tickets. Apart from the employees, unauthorised people were also given free tickets, he added.

Justice Bandial said the court needed a solution to the problem as it was trying to get the national institutions in the right direction. The purpose of the prosecution is not to harm anyone, he added.

He said the PIA is facing loss of billions of rupees every year. The revival of the national institution is a serious issue. Justice Ahsan said a serious plan was needed to run the PIA.

Bilal Minto – counsel for Shujaat Azeem, the former special assistant to PM on aviation – said he was ready to submit affidavit for removing of his client's name. “He [Azeem] would, however, join the proceedings when the court decides,” he said.

Justice Ahsan asked the counsel to submit an affidavit, adding that the court would decide the matter after reviewing it. Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till date in office.


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