SC orders PIA to stop fresh hiring

ISLAMABAD: A three-member Supreme Court bench on Friday directed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) management to stop new hiring and present details of all the hiring made so far.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a case pertaining to corruption in the national flag carrier. During the hearing, the Chief Justice observed that there was a need to impose ‘financial emergency’ in the PIA.

The court directed the PIA management to present details about its general sales agents in and abroad and also inform the court about criteria of deputing such agents. The court also directed the PIA Chairman and Director General Civil Aviation that in future flights should not be late.

The Chief Justice observed that national institutions were being destroyed and there was nobody to inquire about the rampant corruption. Raja Bashir, counsel for PIA told the court that the affairs of the national airliners were not smooth and the flights were being delayed.

“When there are over 450 employees for a one PIA aircraft, then how the airline will ear profit”, the Chief Justice asked. He said the tickets of other airlines were less than PIA, however even then they were earning profit. During the hearing, the Chief Justice also referred to former defence minister Ahmad Mukhtar’s interview to a private Tv channel in which he had conceded that PIA’s deficit was Rs 42.2 billion when he had taken charge which later had risen to Rs 111.5 billion. Later the court adjourned further hearing for two weeks.