Put all PIA’s ex-managing directors on ECL, orders top court

  • CJP Nisar says officials who brought losses to national assets are traitors, cruel
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday passed an order to place the names of all former managing directors of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) from the last ten years on the no-fly list.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who is heading a three-member bench, issued the orders while hearing a case concerning the proposed privatisation of the national carrier and audit. Some of the former bosses of the airline were present in the court.

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Lamenting over the condition of the national flag carrier, the chief justice remarked that the PIA was ruined, besides terming the people who were part of the national assets’ destruction as cruel and traitors.

During the hearing, the CJP remarked that a commission is being formed to probe the matters regarding losses incurred by the PIA and its alleged privatisation.

Chief Justice Nisar also ordered the production of the MDs in whose tenure the national carried faced most losses.

As the hearing began, the PIA’s counsel presented a 9-year audit report. Responding to a query, the counsel informed the court that current value of PIA’s share stood at Rs5.

He also informed that the PIA suffered a loss of Rs44 billion in 2013, Rs37 billion in 2014, Rs32 billion in 2015, Rs45 billion in 2016 and Rs44 billion in 2017.

The lawyer further said that government of Pakistan has 96 percent stakes in the national carrier, adding that it has been functioning as a public entity since April 2016.

The board of governors of the company comprises 11 members, he said, adding that most of the members have been appointed by the government.

“Aviation secretary is the chairman and member of the board. Irfan Illahi is the elected member of the board and secretary E&D is also a member of the board,” Dawn News quoted the counsel as saying.

He highlighted that the PIA did not take benefit from reduced petroleum prices while the other airlines availed the opportunity.

The apex court also sought a reply from the federal government on the privatisation of the airline and summoned the attorney general.

At the last hearing on Apr 6, the top court ordered all MDs of the PIA, who have served in the past ten years to appear before the court.

The CJP had also sought audited statements of accounts from the incumbent managing director.

The court had also taken notice of profitable routes allegedly being taken away from PIA and being given to private carriers, especially Air Blue.

It had also barred the authorities from fresh hiring in PIA until further orders.