KARACHI: The government has removed Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Air Marshal (ret) Muhammad Yousaf, accusing him of not expediting work on projects like construction of the new Islamabad airport in timely manner.
Although a notification regarding his removal came late on Wednesday, it wasn't until Thursday evening that a formal announcement was made in a rather hard-hitting CAA handout.
"A number of development projects like expansion and renovation of Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad and Lahore airports was to be undertaken on fast track as per vision the of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. However, the work on these projects has not started as yet," it said.
"Other projects like completion of new Islamabad airport and installation of instrument landing system to enable aircraft to land in fog also got inordinately delayed due to failure of top management to take stern action against the non-performing officials."
While it has not been officially communicated, but officials say that Additional Secretary Aviation Division Amjad Ali Toor has been given interim charge as DG CAA.
The statement insisted that DG CAA was replaced to accelerate the pace of work on projects to modernise the aviation industry.
"New Islamabad International Airport requires special attention and dedication to complete the remaining work of infrastructure and equipment installation and make airport operational in 2016."
However, the statement had a soft corner for the ousted DG, noting that "Muhammad Yousaf is a man of integrity and high moral values."
CAA officials close to the developments claimed that Yousaf had to pay the price of not yielding to constant demands from Aviation Advisor Shujaat Azeem.
"Over the months Azeem has taken everything under his own control especially matters related to the new Islamabad airport. His interference has started to test nerves of senior CAA management," an official revealed adding that "He wants to use DG CAA as rubber stamp and any dissenting note is viewed as mutiny."
Another official said Yousaf by nature was an easy-going man who usually did not unnecessarily push his subordinates.
"When it comes to projects involving estate, CAA officers are very careful. They want to do everything by rule book and avoid shortcuts, which might land them in trouble later."
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