ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court has issued orders to remove the name of retired captain Shujaat Azeem, former special assistant to the prime minister on aviation, from the Exit Control List.
The apex court was hearing a suo motu case on Thursday on the reported privatisation and poor financial situation of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) when it passed the directives.
Azeem’s lawyer, presenting his arguments before the bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, argued that during his client’s tenure as aviation chief, PIA’s losses had reduced by Rs18 billion.
After hearing the arguments, the bench seemed impressed and ordered that Azeem’s name be removed from the ECL, allowing him to travel abroad.
The apex court had last month ordered an inquiry against Azeem and directed authorities to enforce travel restrictions, after viewing a presentation on massive losses incurred by the national flag carrier.
According to the presentation presented in the courtroom, PIA had suffered a total loss of Rs360 billion since 2008. Among the reasons cited for the losses were the airline expenditures exceeding its revenue apparently due to political influence, packages and association policy.