EU’s continued ban dealt another blow to PIA: Sherry Rehman

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Leader of the Pakistan People’s Party in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, has said the European Union’s decision to retain its ban on PIA in its member countries is another blow to our national airline which is a clear vote of no confidence in two years of gross mismanagement and neglect by the PTI government.

“It is rather shocking that despite the previous suspension, conditions laid down in ART 205(c)(2) of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations were not met by CAA and it appears that now the only way the ban can be lifted is by the Pakistan’s aviation regulatory body to clear a new safety audit,” she said in a statement on Saturday.

Sherry said what is questionable is the government’s inaction and flat refusal to take responsibility for landing an already troubled airline in such international disgrace. “Nobody seems to be take responsibility for this combination of criminal negligence and indifference to the squandering of our national assets,” she questioned.

She said it’s not only EASA but the US and the UK authorities who have also banned PIA. The national airline is facing a loss of millions along with being disgraced internationally.

The Senator said it has lost its coveted international routes and clearances, while a coterie of cannibalising corporate raiders look to be actively colluding to shut the airline down.

Senator Sherry Rehman said that the government should take this EU ban as a reminder that despite being banned internationally, PIA is still flying domestically, and questions will be asked about what it is doing to guarantee the safety of the lives of domestic passengers who have little option but to fly PIA.

Talking about the fake license issue, the PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, said the Aviation Minister had claimed that there were 262 fake licenses but recently the Secretary Aviation told IHC that only 28 licenses were fraudulent.

She said we are still facing the aftermath of such reckless statements, but no one is made answerable in Madina ki Riasat. “In any other government many heads would have rolled, but here there is total indifference to public safety, parliamentary caution or moral obligation to be answerable to the people,” she said.

Sherry Rehman said the entire ‘Licencegate’ issue tells us that the public is on its own, that questions in Parliament mean nothing, or beget only tirades, and that the revival of PIA is part of the many false promises made to Pakistan by ‘Tabahi Sarkar’.

She said in any other country or government, those responsible would have been taken to task and would not be allowed to cover up their egregious misdemeanours. “We still must insist on an investigation as to why EASA conditions were not met,” she said.

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