News Desk |
The Senate Standing Committee on Aviation, Tuesday 13th February, lambasted the manner of dismissal of 80 employees, including seven pilots and 73 cabin crew, of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for possessing fake degrees, saying that the dismissals did not follow the procedural codes. The committee meeting was headed by Senator Mushahidullah Khan for a briefing on the issue of fake degrees of PIA employees.
The committee chairman harshly criticized the dismissal of employees, saying that the Supreme Court order was not followed in letter and spirit. Senator Mushahid urged the PIA management to take disciplinary actions against the people who inducted employees without verifying their documents before firing staff with fake degrees.
The information minister said that Mushahidullah Khan was appointed a loader in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in February 1990 and retired as a passenger services supervisor in 1997, mere 7 years later.
“Terminating the service of the staff is a drastic action. Nowhere does the Supreme Court order dismiss staff with fake degrees. The court’s directives are to follow the procedure under the rules,” said Mushahidullah Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He argued that instead of terminating the service of staff possessing fake degrees, other disciplinary action should have been taken, such as demotion or stopping increments.
In October 2018, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had addressed a press conference and said that the Chairman of the Aviation Committee had been exponentially promoted during his service in PIA. The information minister said that Mushahidullah Khan was appointed a loader in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in February 1990 and retired as a passenger services supervisor in 1997, mere 7 years later.
Read more: CEO PIA, Dr. Musharraf’s vision to airlift PIA once again
The information minister had also said that Mushahid Ullah Khan had elevated himself as a senator due to “serving his master”, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. His three brothers were also inducted in the PIA on the basis of nepotism, the Information Minister had alleged.
Mushahid Ullah Khan’s brother Rashidullah, Fawad Chaudhry said, was appointed ahead of the PIA’s New York office, which was shut down due to his inefficiency. His other brother was also made assistant manager in the New York office, while his maternal cousin Matiullah was appointed traffic assistant in Paris, he added.
Fawad said when Shujaat Azeem was appointed PIA’s chairman by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Musahidullah’s brothers were also regularized in sheer violation of rules without approval of the board. Overall 19 family members of Mushahidullah Khan, he said, were inducted in the PIA while over 100 others were also appointed on his recommendations.
PMLN’s senator was being harsh probably as many of the employees in PIA were appointed not on the merit base but on the basis of nepotism during previous government, hence fear laying off.
Responding to Mushahidullah’s recent demur on PIA’s fake degrees issue, Fawad Chaudhary took it to twitter and said, “ People like Mushahidullah demanding to let pilots with fake degrees fly the planes is the reason of decades’ downfall [of Pakistan].”
پھر کہتے ہیں پارلیمان کی توقیر متاثر ہو گئ، جب مشاھداللہ جیسے لوگ کمیٹیوں کے سربراہ ہوں اور مطالبہ ہو کہ جعلی ڈگریوں والے پائلٹس کو جہاز اڑانے کی اجازت دی جائے تو اس سے عزت بڑہ نہیں سکتی، پاکستان نے دس سالوں میں جو زوال دیکھا ہے اس کی وجہ یہی رویے ہیں۔ https://t.co/fDYCsnGXue
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) February 13, 2019
In response to the committee’s protests, PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik, who took charge last October, explained to the committee, reasons for the strict measures by the management.
“More cases of fake degrees have surfaced. And more cases have surfaced of pilots with fake licenses who are flying today. I explained to the Supreme Court of the matter of life and death of passengers. If we did not take stern actions on merit, there will be no end to such inductions,” Air Marshal Malik told the committee.
Read more: Inquiry launched against Shujaat Azeem over PIA losses but there’s more…
Experts believe that PIA is on the right track as primary objective here is the safety of the lives of passengers and secondary is the punishment. PML-N’s senator was being harsh probably as many of the employees in PIA were appointed not on the merit base but on the basis of nepotism during the previous government, hence fear a layoff.