ISLAMABAD: The under-construction airport in the capital may not be named after former prime minister Benazir Bhutto as the PML-N government has already started calling it ‘New Islamabad International Airport’.
The official handout issued after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the site of the new airport at Fatehjang on Thursday mentioned it as ‘New Islamabad International Airport’.
“We will resist such a move and lodge our protest as it will amount to carrying out personal and political vendetta,” PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Babar claimed that according to the official documents, the name of the new airport was ‘New Benazir Bhutto International Airport’ and the officials used to refer to this name in briefings during the PPP government’s tenure.
On the other hand, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed, who had accompanied the prime minister during the visit, said the issue of name did not come up in the briefing.
He, however, said the previous government had named the airport at Chaklala as Benazir Bhutto airport, and how could it be possible to have two airports in one city with the same name? It could create complications, especially for the pilots, he added.
Responding to a question, the minister said the project was inaugurated by former president Gen Pervez Musharraf and his hand-picked prime minister Shaukat Aziz. How was it possible that we name it after Benazir Bhutto, he added.
Mr Rasheed said the government had not removed Benazir Bhutto’s name from any building or road, citing examples of Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Road in Rawalpindi and Benazir Income Support Programme.