Pakistan News

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane was held back in Malaysia as part of a legal dispute between the airline and another party, the national flag carrier said on Friday. — AFP/File

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane was held back in Malaysia as part of a legal dispute between the airline and another party, the national flag carrier said on Friday.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after a court order, the airline said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers due to fly from Kuala Lumpur back to Pakistan.

The case involved a $14 million lease dispute, a PIA official said.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the airline said: "A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking a one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court.

"The passengers are being looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have been finalised," the statement said.

 

"It is an unacceptable situation and PIA has engaged support from the government of Pakistan to take up this matter using diplomatic channels."

“We were told that the plane has been impounded on a court order,” PIA spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez Khan said later in a video statement. “PIA's legal team will pursue it in the Malaysian court, and we hope that we will resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

Commenting on the legal dispute, Khan told Dawn.com that it was a "payment dispute between us and the party Peregrine" that had been filed in the UK courts about six months ago.

The spokesperson refused to give further details on the dispute, adding that the Malaysian court took an "ex-parte decision causing inconvenience to the passengers who had already boarded the plane".

According to orders passed by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday seen by Reuters, the plaintiff of the case is Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the matter pertains to two jets leased to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world's largest aircraft lessor, in 2015.

They are part of a portfolio that AerCap sold to Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd, an investment unit of NCB Capital, the brokerage arm of National Commercial Bank SJSC, in 2018.

According to the interim injunction, PIA is restrained from moving two aircraft in its fleet — a Boeing 777- 200ER with serial number 32716 and a Boeing 777- 200ER with serial number 32717 — once they have landed or parked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until a further hearing on the matter later this month.

Tracking data from Flightradar24 showed only one of the two Boeing 777s covered by the court order is currently in Kuala Lumpur. The other was last recorded in Karachi last month. AerCap, which continued as part of the agreement to provide lease management services to Peregrine, declined to comment.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the country's airport operator, and its subsidiary were ordered to make sure the aircraft do not leave Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Malaysia's Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Friday that the aircraft was being held pending legal proceedings set for January 24.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said the matter was not related to airport operations.

In response to a question about the issue, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the Pakistani high commission in Malaysia was in close contact with the relevant Malaysian authorities and PIA "to address the issue at the earliest".

"Meanwhile, the passengers are being properly looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel to Pakistan have also been finalised," he said, adding that they will be departing Kuala Lumpur by Emirates flight EK-343 later tonight.

Pakistani high commissioner in Malaysia Amna Baloch, while talking to DawnNewsTV, said PIA's legal experts would deal with the situation. She said the high commission would provide all necessary assistance to the airline to resolve the matter.

She said the passengers due to fly on the impounded aircraft were being provided with all possible facilities.


With additional reporting by Naveed Siddiqui in Islamabad.

A massive power outage has been reported from several cities across Pakistan.

The cities facing disruption include Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Rawalpindi.

Within Karachi, outages were reported from Korangi, Defence, Garden, Clifton, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, MA Jinnah Road, II Chundrigar Road, Liaquatabad, and FB Area.

Even the Jinnah International Airport remained without power.

'NTDC lines have tripped'

A few minutes into the breakdown, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said that the National Transmission Despatch Company’s lines have tripped, causing outage.

"It will take sometime before everything gets back to normal," he added.

 

Within minutes of the breakdown, the term #blackout became a top trend on Twitter in Pakistan with more than 12,000 tweets.

'Power ministry working to resolve issue'

The prime minister's aide on political communication Shahbaz Gill said that he has spoken to Minister for Power Omar Ayub and "his entire team is working to resolve the issue".

"We will update you soon, InshaAllah," he said.

 

Power minister explains issue

Ayub, in his own statement on Twitter, said that the "frequency in the power distribution system suddenly dropped from 50 to 0 which caused the blackout".

"We are trying to ascertain what caused the drop in frequency."

Ayub said that Tarbela "will be activated so a phase wise restoration can be carried out".

He requested the nation to exercise patience.

 

"All of our teams have reached their respective stations. As the Minister for Power I am personally overseeing the work for restoration of power.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to visit Quetta “soon” to express solidarity with the members of the Shia Hazara community. — Photo courtesy of PM Imran Facebook page

• Appeals for burial of slain miners
• Balochistan CM, two federal cabinet members’ talks with protesters yield no result

ISLAMABAD/QUETTA: Amid escalating criticism in the country and on the advice of several senior cabinet members, Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to visit Quetta “soon” to express solidarity with the members of the Shia Hazara community, who have been protesting in Quetta for the last four days along with the bodies of the coal miners killed in Sunday’s terrorist attack in the Mach area, Dawn has learnt through sources.

“The date and time of the prime minister’s visit are being kept secret due to security concerns, but he (the PM) will pay a surprise visit very soon,” said a senior member of the federal cabinet while talking to Dawn on Wednesday hours after the prime minister appealed to the protesters to bury the bodies of the miners, promising that he would visit them “very soon.”

The minister, who is privy to behind the scene developments that had taken place after the gruesome murder of 11 miners, claimed that a number of cabinet members, including Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, had suggested to the prime minister during the cabinet meeting on Tuesday that he should undertake a visit of Quetta to pacify the mourners.

Asked why the prime minister had not visited the city so far, he said it was simply because of “security concerns”. Moreover, the minister said Mr Khan was of the view that his visit on the protesters’ demand could set a new precedent and if a terror attack took place tomorrow in any part of the country, then the people would make a similar demand that they wanted to see the prime minister before burying the victims.

Mourners continue protest

Despite extremely harsh weather as mercury dropped to below freezing point, the mourners, including women and children, have refused to leave the Western Bypass area close to Hazara Town in Quetta as their protest entered the fourth day on Wednesday.

The day-long efforts of federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Alyani to persuade the protesters to bury the bodies of the slain miners proved futile as the protesters refused to do so without having a meeting with the prime minister.

The two members of the federal cabinet had arrived in Quetta on Tuesday night after the protesters had rejected a similar call by Sheikh Rashid, who had visited Quetta on Monday.

“I want to reassure the Hazara families who lost their loved ones in a brutal terrorist attack in Mach that I am cognisant of their suffering & their demands,” the prime minister said on Twitter, adding that the government was taking steps to prevent such attacks in the future and “know our neighbour is instigating this sectarian terrorism.”

 

“I share your pain and have come to you before also to stand with you in your time of suffering. I will come again very soon to offer prayers and condole with all the families personally,” the prime minister said while addressing the mourning Hazaras.

“I will never betray my people’s trust. Please bury your loved ones so their souls find peace,” Mr Khan appealed to the protesters.

Earlier in the day, a 90-second video clip showing SAPM Zulfi Bukhari talking to some Hazara protesters in Quetta went viral on social media and received widespread criticism. He was shown asking the protesters as to what responsibility would they be taking when the prime minister would visit them.

“We say that we will bring him (the PM). He will come soon. We have promised with you,” Mr Bukhari said.

“God forbid, if tomorrow another incident takes place somewhere in Pakistan then they (the people) will say we want this and we don’t want this. If tomorrow someone else gets martyred, he will say we want this and don’t want this,” Mr Bukhari said to the protesters in the clip.

 

Later, talking to Dawn, Mr Bukhari said the context of the conversation was different and “this clip shows it out of context.”

The SAPM expressed the hope that they would resolve the matter by Thursday morning. He said that he had held negotiations with the protesters and told them that the government was ready to talk with them on their demands. He said that they had suggested to the protesters to hold talks with them and the prime minister would visit them when they would reach an agreement.

 

On the other hand, Syed Agha Raza of the Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen told the Balochistan chief minister and the two federal ministers that they would not bury the bodies till arrival of the prime minister in Quetta.

The chief minister visited the sit-in site and the Imambargah in Hazara Town and assured the mourners that he would take steps to ensure arrest of the terrorists involved in the incident and bring them to justice.

The chief minister expressed grief over the tragic incident and asked the mourners not to link the burial of the bodies of the coal miners with the prime minister’s visit.

“I take responsibility for the prime minister’s visit to Quetta to listen to your grievances and assure you that the federal and provincial governments will take joint steps to resolve the issues,” Mr Alyani said.

He said the enemies of the stability in Balochistan did not like peace and order in the province and hatched conspiracies to destabilise the situation. He said Balochistan had been burning for the past 10 years but now the situation had improved in the province to a great extent.

“We do not want to return back to the earlier situation and would take coordinated measures to suppress law and order-disturbing elements, including the ISIS,” he added.

Mr Alyani said he was abroad when the tragic incident took place. He apologised over the delay in returning to Quetta as he was required to undergo coronavirus test before travelling.

The chief minister said the law enforcement agencies were taking all steps to prevent terrorism and it had resulted in reducing terrorist attacks in the province. He said after the 18th Amendment, many matters came under the purview of the provincial government and even after the prime minister’s visit to Quetta, the problems had to be resolved by the provincial government.

“He [the prime minister] will definitely come, the president will come, ministers and parliamentarians will come. But even if the prime minister comes, we have to solve our problems ourselves,” he said.

“Suspending someone is not the solution to the problem,” the CM said.

Mr Alyani said that as Muslims, “we have our religious responsibilities [to bury the deceased]” and these should be fulfilled.

“I would request the community to not associate it with some official’s visit,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Zaidi said the protesters’ demands were valid “but please do not associate the burial with the PM’s visit.”

“The external enemies of Pakistan commit such acts in Pakistan. What is saddening is that we find Mir Sadiqs and Mir Jafars among us,” he said, adding that he could “present proof of foreign interference” in the country and recalling that Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan.

Protests over the Mach tragedy also continued in other parts of the country, including Islamabad and Karachi.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2021

Seven soldiers were martyred in a gun attack on a Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan post in Harnai district of Balochistan, the military's media wing said on Sunday.

The "terrorist fire raid" targeted an FC post located in Shahrag area of Harnai late on Saturday.

"During [an] intense exchange of fire, seven brave soldiers embraced shahadat while repulsing raiding terrorists," an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

It said the area had been cordoned off and escape routes blocked to apprehend the fleeing miscreants.

 

A large scale search and clearance operation was in progress in the area.

"Such cowardly acts by inimical elements backed by anti-state forces will not be allowed to sabotage hard-earned peace and prosperity in Balochistan," the ISPR said, adding that security forces were determined to "thwart their nefarious designs at all costs".

In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "saddened to hear of" the soldiers' martyrdom in the attack.

"My heartfelt condolences & prayers go to their families. Our nation stands with our courageous soldiers who face attacks from Indian backed terrorists," he wrote.

 

Education minister Shafqat Mahmood also said he was "very grieved to learn about the martyrdom of 7 of our soldiers defending the motherland".

 

The martyred personnel were identified as Naib Subedar Gulzar, resident of Mianwali; Sepoy Faisal, resident of Hafizabad; Sepoy Abdul Wakeel, resident of Pishin; Sepoy Sher Zaman, resident of Kohat; Sepoy Jamal, resident of Dera Bugti; Abdul Rauf, resident of Dera Ghazi Khan; and Faqeer Muhammad, resident of Muzaffargarh.

The incident comes five days after 10 suspected terrorists were killed in a gun battle with security forces during an intelligence-based operation in Balochistan's Awaran area.

“These terrorists were involved in firing on security forces, which resulted in martyrdom of Lance Naik Mohammad Iqbal on Dec 20 in the Awaran area,” the ISPR had said at the time.

Earlier in October, 14 security men — seven personnel of the Frontier Corps and as many civilian guards employed by the OGDCL — were martyred in an armed attack on their convoy on the Coastal Highway in the Ormara area of Gwadar district.

The encounter took place between security forces and a large number of terrorists on the Coastal Highway near Ormara when a convoy of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) staff was being escorted from Gwadar to Karachi.

 

حکومت پاکستان کا نیا پاسپورٹ جاری کرنے کا فیصلہ، نیا پاسپورٹ 28 اپریل 2021 سے جاری کیا جائے گا۔

تفصیلات کے مطابق اسلام آباد میں وفاقی وزیرِ داخلہ شیخ رشید نے میڈیا سے گفتگو میں کہا ہے کہ موجودہ حکومت نے پاسپورٹ سے متعلق تاریخی فیصلے کیے ہیں، انہوں نے بتایا کہ حکومت پاکستان کا نیا پاسپورٹ جاری کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا ہے، اور نئے پاسپورٹ کا اجراء 28 اپریل 2021 سے کر دیا جائے گا۔

وزیرِِ داخلہ نے پاسپورٹ کے حوالے سے تفصیلات بتاتے ہوئے کہا کہ ملک کے غریب طبقے کو 3 ہزار روپے کی فیس پر 10 سال کے لئے کار آمد پاسپورٹ جاری کیا جائے گا، انہوں نے واضح کیا کہ آفیشل اور ریڈ پاسپورٹ کو تبدیل نہیں کیا گیا ہے تاہم مشرقی وسطیٰ جانے والوں کو 10 سال کے لئے پاسپورٹ جاری کریں گے۔

اس موقع پر ان کا کہنا تھا کہ وزیراعظم عمران خان نے ہمیں 120 دن کا ٹارگٹ دیا ہے، ہم یکم جنوری سے پوری دنیا میں ''ای سروس'' شروع کر کرنے جا رہے ہیں، آج سے پاسپورٹ ایس ایم ایس سروس شروع کی جا رہی ہے تاہم ٹیم کو آن لائن پاسپورٹ کی فراہمی میں کچھ وقت لگے گا۔

اپوزیشن پر تنقید کرتے ہوئے وزیرِ داخلہ شیخ رشید احمد نے کہا کہ مولانا فضل الرحمٰن فساد کی اصل جڑ ہے، تاہم جن سیاست دانوں کی جان کو خطرہ ہے اُن 20 افراد کی فہرست میں مولانا فضل الرحمٰن کا نام ٹاپ پر ہے، البتہ یہ نہیں جانتے کہ نواز شریف کے پاسپورٹ کی مدت کب ختم ہو گی۔

خیال رہے کہ پاسپورٹ بلیک لسٹ میں ایک لاکھ کے قریب لوگ ہیں جنہیں کم کر کے پچیس ہزار تک لایا جائے گا اور اس کے لئے جرائم میں ملوث لوگوں کے علاوہ باقی افراد کو بلیک لسٹ سے نکال دیا جائے گا۔

• Pakistan takes up visa ban issue with UAE
• CFM adopts Pakistan-sponsored resolution on Islamophobia
• Islamabad to host next CFM meeting

ISLAMABAD: Amid conflicting reports whether the Kash­mir issue was on the agenda of an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s meeting in Niger, the foreign ministers of the OIC’s member states in a diplomatic victory for Pakistan unanimously reaffirmed support for the Kashmir cause.

In another landmark development, the OIC unanimously adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution urging the UN Secretary General to initiate a global dialogue to counter rising Islamophobia and promote interfaith harmony.

On the bilateral level, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who led Pakistan delegation at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Niamey, Niger, raised the issue of the ban on visas for Pakistanis recently imposed by the United Arab Emirates with the UAE’s Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimi.

According to details of the Niamey meeting released by Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Saturday, the CFM reaffirmed its strong support for the Kashmir cause. The OIC categorically rejected illegal and unilateral actions taken by India on Aug 5 last year to change the internationally recognised disputed status of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jam­mu and Kashmir and demanded India rescind its illegal steps.

It asked India to cancel the issuance of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris as well as other unilateral and illegal actions, including Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Order, 2020; Jammu & Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules, 2020; Jammu and Kashmir Language, Bill 2020 and amendments to the landownership laws.

Also rejecting policies being pursued by the RSS-BJP regime, the 57 member countries of the OIC asked India to refrain from taking any steps to alter the demographic structure of the disputed territory.

The OIC foreign ministers condemned in the strongest possible terms human rights violations perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in held Kashmir and other such instances of terrorism that have been the source of unspeakable suffering for the innocent Kashmiri people.

The resolution condemned the state-sponsored terrorism and crimes against humanity by Indian occupation forces against the Kashmiri people.

It denounced extrajudicial killings during fake ‘encounters’ and ‘search-and-cordon’ operations and demolition of houses and private properties as a form of collective punishment;.

The unanimous resolution condemned the renewed use of pellet guns by Indian occupation forces against innocent civilians, condemned the harassment of Kashmiri women by Indian troops and deplored that India had callously exploited the current Covid-19 crisis to intensify its military crackdown and further advance its unlawful occupation.

The conference welcomed the visit of OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir from March 2-6, 2020.

India was asked to adhere to its international human rights obligations and allow the OIC Special Representative on Jammu and Kashmir and the OIC Fact-finding Mission to visit occupied Kashmir and implement recommendations of the two reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu & Kashmir.

The OIC asked the international community to review its engagements with India as it was violating and disregarding the international law, the international humanitarian law, and international resolutions.

It emphasised that the question of Kashmir was of utmost importance for the Ummah.

The OIC recognised that Jammu and Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India, and its resolution indispensable for realisation of the dream of peace in South Asia.

The CFM noted that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the principal party to the dispute, and stressed that they should be included in any peace process for resolution of the dispute.

It affirmed that any political or electoral process held under foreign occupation cannot be a substitute to the exercise of the right to self-determination.

Tabled during the 47th session of the CFM, a separate resolution was drafted in the context of growing incidents of Islamophobia in various parts of the world.

The resolution expressed concern that Islamophobia, as a contemporary form of racism and religious discrimination, was on the rise. It expressed deep concern at the recent incidents of desecration of the Holy Quran and reprinting of blasphemous caricatures which hurt sentiments of more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.

The OIC decided to designate March 15 as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” each year. It authorised the OIC Permanent Missions in New York to jointly table a resolution in the UN General Assembly, calling for establishment of this day.

The resolution urged the OIC member states to organise and support various high-visibility events aimed at effectively increasing awareness at all levels about curbing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

Speaking on the session, Foreign Qureshi said that adoption of the resolution was a reflection of the sentiments of billions of Muslims who respected other religions and expected similar respect for Islam and the Prophet (peace be upon him).

Meanwhile, positively responding to Pakistan’s offer, the CFM meeting decided to host its 48th session in Islamabad in 2021.

As the prospective CFM Chair, Pakistan also became a member of the six-member OIC Executive Committee for the next three years.

Meetings with FMs

Foreign Minister Qureshi in his meeting with United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State Reem Al Hashimi raised the issue of the ban imposed by the Arab country on Pakistanis.

Mr Qureshi, who spent a busy day in Niamey, holding meetings with foreign ministers of some countries, apprised Ms Hashimi of difficulties being faced by Pakistani citizens with regard to the UAE’s ban on visas.

Pakistan is among 13 Muslim majority countries facing the ban on new employment and visit visas recently placed by the UAE.

Interestingly, India is not included in these countries, and the visa on arrival facility is still available for European countries making it clear that the ban has little to do with the coronavirus.

Mr Qureshi underscored the need to address the issue at the earliest possible.

He highlighted the close fraternal ties as well as people-to-people contacts between the two countries and stressed Pakistan’s commitment to forge closer cooperation with the UAE in diverse fields.

While appreciating Mr Qureshi’s statement at the CFM session, the Emirati minister lauded Pakistan’s initiative to propose an OIC resolution on combating Islamophobia.

The two sides also exchanged views on OIC matters and stressed the importance of strengthening it as a united and pivotal platform for the Ummah.

It was also agreed to enhance mutual exchanges to carry forward the process of growing bilateral cooperation.

Mr Qureshi also held meetings with Foreign Minister Kalla Ankouraou of Niger, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Somalia Balal Mohamed Osman, Sudanese Foreign Minister Omar Qamaruddin Ismail and Foreign Minister of Kuwait Dr Ahmad Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah.

• ATR aircraft had three ‘technical anomalies’ before it took off
• Investigation report submitted to Sindh High Court

RAWALPINDI: Nearly four years after the tragic incident, the Aircraft Accident and Investigation Board (AAIB) has completed investigation into crash of Pakistan International Airlines’ flight PK-661 near Havelian, which has revealed that the aircraft had three “technical anomalies” for which the airline’s engineers were responsible.

A total of 47 passengers and crewmembers lost their lives when the ATR42 plane crashed into hills about 24 nautical miles north of Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport on Dec 7, 2016.

Junaid Jamshed, a singer-turned-preacher, was among the people killed in one of the most disastrous air crashes in the country’s aviation history.

Head of the AAIB Air Commodore Usman Ghani submitted the report on Thursday to a bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) after repeated directives by the bench in a petition filed about various incidents involving ATR planes.

A spokesman for the aviation division, senior joint secretary Abdul Sattar Khokhar, said in a press release the investigation was carried out under the guidelines provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and were aimed at improving the safety of air travel.

According to the investigation report, the air crash was the result of three “latent technical factors”, including fracture of one of the power turbine blades of Engine 1; a broken/fractured pin inside over-speed governor; and probable pre-existing contamination inside Propeller Valve Module.

The AAIB report, which held the PIA engineers responsible for the disaster, said the aircraft remained in air for about 42 minutes before the crash.

Analysis of the digital flight data recorder indicated that the aircraft’s Engine 1 was degraded.

“The flight took off with two pre-existing technical anomalies. One anomaly was a fractured Power Turbine (PT-1) blade and the second was a fractured pin inside the Over-Speed Governor of the same side. The probable latent pre-existing condition was contamination external from the engine observed in Propeller Valve Module (PVM),” the report said.

It said most probably the PT-1 blade had fractured during a previous flight. However, this defect is not observable during regular operations.

“It was determined that the pin inside the OSG was fractured due to improper re-assembly. Metallurgical evaluation of the OSG pilot valve pin fracture surface, at Woodward, USA, determined that the pin had failed due to overload resulting from the valve being forced together using an improper re-assembly method during some unauthorised/undocumented maintenance activity,” the report said.

Continued operation with a broken pin may possibly have weakened component(s) inside OSG.

“It has been established that any of the latent pre-existing technical anomalies and probable latent pre-existing condition … alone may not lead to such a catastrophic/hazardous situation except in the presence of unusual combination and/or additional contributing factor(s).”

The report suggested that the simultaneous existence of the three “technical anomalies” made it extremely difficult for the cockpit crew to tackle the situation effectively.

“The event was unexpected and the crew was not trained for this specific sequence of events,” said the report.

It said the captain and the first officers were well-trained and had a good overall total flying hours. They led a normal family life.

Responding to the AIIB report, the management of PIA said the airline had already incorporated immediate safety recommendations, including PT blade modifications and inspections of OSG at the manufacturing facility.

Spokesman for PIA Abdullah Hafeez Khan said the management had reviewed the crash report and acknowledged that there were three latent factors that aligned together at the time of the crash. Had any of these factors happened in isolation, the consequences would not have been so devastating.

He said that during the course of the investigation, PIA remained at the disposal of AAIB for implementing the most immediate safety recommendations which were given earlier.

There has been no similar event in the industry or with the same equipment which could help PIA maintenance and training teams to simulate such a scenario.

Meanwhile, the SHC summoned the PIA and CAA officials after submission of the investigation report.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar summoned the director for safety management and maintenance of PIA and director for airworthiness of CAA to appear before it on Dec 1.

Air Commodore Ghani informed the bench that the report was available on the website of CAA. When the bench asked about the safety of the public, he contended that clear responsibility had been fixed in the report and certain recommendations had also been given to ensure safety measures.

Ishaq Tanoli also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2020

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