Where the ongoing matter of PIA court hearings is leading the fresh turn is the federal government in its written reply submitted in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has stated licences of only 50 pilots out of 262 were cancelled, which were declared suspicious.
In a case filed by a pilot against the cancellation of his licence and termination of service, the government on Saturday submitted this reply before the IHC.
The government has also requested the court to suspend hearing till the Supreme Court delivers the final judgment on the coronavirus suo motu case because the instant matter was also linked to that one.
Case Details and Replies
The reply states that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is holding an inquiry against the bogus pilots and the criminal proceedings will possibly start soon. It also says that the aviation secretary had initially ordered an inquiry against 262 pilots whose licences were declared suspicious. However, 50 licences were found to be bogus with the remaining 212 cleared.
EU Safety Standard and Government Stance
About the sanctions imposed by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the government says these can only be lifted after on site or remote audit which is scheduled to start next month.
The reply came as Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar repeatedly declared ever since the May 22 PIA plane crash in Karachi that the licences of 262 pilots were fake.
However, there was a little modification later when he claimed in the Senate that he had used the words “dubious” and not “fake” on the floor of the National Assembly.
This modification was a result of pressure as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), being the country’s sole issuing authority, had said that all the licences were genuine.
Following is a link to the National Carrier’s CSR for reference: