Controversial? CAA DG removed for ‘slow pace of work’

Yousaf replaced to speed up completion of New Islamabad International Airport.

Our Correspondent July 03, 2015
CAA statement notes that Muhammad Yousaf is a man of integrity and high moral values. PHOTO: CAA

KARACHI: The government has removed Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Air Marshal (retired) Muhammad Yousaf from office, stating that he was not able to expedite work on projects including construction of the New Islamabad International Airport.

The notification of his removal came late Wednesday night but a formal announcement was made in a rather hard-hitting CAA handout issued on Thursday evening.

“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 of the prime minister. The work on these projects has not started as yet,” it said.

“Other projects like completion of the New Islamabad International Airport and installation of instrument landing system to enable aircraft to land in fog also got inordinately delayed due to failure of the top management to take stern action against non-performing officials,” it added.

While it has not been officially communicated but officials say that Additional Secretary Aviation Division Amjad Ali Toor has been appointed as the interim director general.

The statement insisted that DG CAA was replaced to accelerate work on projects to modernise the aviation industry.

“New Islamabad International Airport requires special attention and dedication to complete the remaining work and make it operational in 2016.”

There was some praise for outgoing DG as the handout said that “Muhammad Yousaf is a man of integrity and high moral values”.

CAA officials close to the developments say Yousaf paid the price for not yielding to constant demands of Aviation Advisor Shujaat Azeem.

“Over the months, Azeem has taken everything under his own control especially matters related to the Islamabad airport. His interference has started to test nerves of the senior CAA management,” said an official.

“He wants to use DG CAA as rubberstamp and any dissenting note is viewed as mutiny.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd,  2015.

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