QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has asked the authorities of Pakistan International Airlines to redress the long-standing grievances of the province such as offering jobs to its people, increasing number of flights and restoring non-functional airports.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the PIA’s technical training centre here on Monday, he said that PIA’s “discriminatory policies” towards Balochistan should be changed.
“Our people are talented and hard-working, they need opportunities to prove their talent and we need to build up our human resource,” Malik Baloch said.
The training centre set up in Quetta is PIA’s 8th such facility in the country and the first in Balochistan. It would pass out 1,200 graduate engineers in the aviation sector after every two years.
CM inaugurates PIA’s technical training centre in Quetta
Special Adviser to Prime Minister on Civil Aviation retired Captain Shujaat Azeem, PIA Chairman Mohammad Ali Gardazi, General Manager Balochistan Abdul Baqi Baloch and other senior officials of PIA and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) were present on the occasion.
The chief minister thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his role in setting up the PIA’s training centre in Balochistan.
He said the youth of Balochistan should be given their due share in jobs in PIA and other federal organisations.
He said the government would soon provide land for the establishment of another such centre in Turbat so that the youth belonging to the Makran division could obtain engineering training.
Dr Malik Baloch asked the PIA authorities to start more flights for Quetta and other cities of Balochistan to improve air connectivity of the province with other parts of the country.
He said airports in Sibbi, Khuzdar, Jiwani and Panjgur were non-functional and urged the CAA to take measures for making them functional.
Captain Shujaat Azeem said the PIA facility would impart aviation training to students and after completing the four-year course they would become trained engineers.
He said another such centre would soon be set up in Turbat.
“After getting training from this centre engineers would get job opportunities not only in Pakistan but also abroad, particularly in Middle East countries,” he added.
Mr Azeem said that expansion and renovation of Quetta International Airport would start on Sept 28 and the project would be completed in 2016. The project would cost Rs1,876 million.
Mr Baqi Baloch also spoke.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2015