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PIA staff had sacrificed a goat for ‘sadqa’ near ATR-42 aircraft before take-off.— INP/File
PIA staff had sacrificed a goat for ‘sadqa’ near ATR-42 aircraft before take-off.— INP/File

RAWALPINDI: The slaughtering of a goat at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport hanger before an ATR flight on Sunday has raised concerns among security officials about how a butcher’s knife was brought into the restricted zone.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has also begun an investigation into how the butcher’s knife and a goat were brought to the airport’s hanger, a senior official, requesting anonymity, said.

As news of the animal sacrifice before a PIA ATR-42 flight on Dec 18 went viral on social media, BBIA security personnel were also surprised that a knife was brought into the restricted area, where the entry of any individual and weapon is subject to security clearance.

A senior security official said an investigation has been launched to ascertain how the black goat and the knife were brought to the airport hanger and security personnel who were on duty at the time will be questioned.

A goat was sacrificed for sadaqah was sacrificed close to the ATR-42 by PIA workers to offer prayers for the safety of the passengers on one of the airline’s planes given clearance to take off on Sunday. The first ATR-42 flight since the shakedown tests of the entire fleet later took off from Multan.

The management of the PIA has distanced itself from the goat’s slaughter, and spokesperson Danyal Gillani said the act was done by local employees as a gesture of gratitude after the first ATR plane was cleared. He added that the animal was killed several hours before the flight was operated.

The PIA spokesperson said the Civil Aviation Authority had decided to carry out shakedown tests of the PIA’s entire ATR fleet, and all 10 aircraft were grounded. He said two ATR planes have been cleared.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2016

Comments (36) Closed

Khaled Dec 24, 2016 10:31am

It is not the butcher's knife that should be of concern, it is the ritual which is a matter that raises eyebrows , and should be probed as to who authorized it.

newpak Dec 24, 2016 10:34am

Daniyal forget about the goat, it's dead. Why don't you investigate the so-called fog that was never there but was used as an excuse by you to divert planes so that Zardari could land his private jet and run his speaches at the old terminal.

Teeli Pehlwan Dec 24, 2016 10:37am

The entire airport staff including CAA, ASF, Customs and employees of various airlines are usually busy arranging special protocol for their extended family and friends. One of my friends worked at Islamabad Airport for 5 years and he said that the security of the airport remains compromised 24/7 because all employees from bottom to top are usually busy entertaining their families and friends who are traveling through the airport.

Asif Sayyed Dec 24, 2016 10:40am

Sack all these irresponsible staff immediately. These people are eating public money for fun.

Syed Dec 24, 2016 10:43am

This is our country's security. What confidence will people have?

Adnan Dec 24, 2016 11:00am

Now the concern is knife not the plane.who ever raising this concern is trying to divert attention. There is always knifes in plane.

Syed F. Hussaini Dec 24, 2016 11:07am

It is cultural.

When the airport security personnel saw a butcher's knife with a goat, they believed the knife was for the goat and, luckily, it was.

They did not see any threat neither in the knife nor in the goat.

A cultured assumption were to override all the rules, manuals, guidelines and training.

Ahmed bin Babar Dec 24, 2016 11:15am

The same way as recently the 15 kilo narcotics were brought and hidden on board in the PIA flight, fortunately that was detected at the 11th hour...

Hamid shafiq Dec 24, 2016 11:19am

where 15 kilogram heroine can load on plane with the presence of so much secuirty agencies then any thing is happen at any time.

saleem Dec 24, 2016 11:22am

In my eyes its tear, I don't know I am crying or laughing .

Mansoor Sajid Dec 24, 2016 11:31am

From security perspective I can personally vouch that it is next to zero. On numerous occasions I left Islamabad International Airport through VIP lounge without undergoing any stringent security checks. Person accompanying me to airport would simply say to the security personnel at the entrance that I am the wife of so and so as well as we are the guests of Mr. so and so (an employee within VIP lounge) and that would suffice to let us go. Once you are in the VIP lounge it is very easy to get a direct access to the runway, if malafide intentions are involved. It's high time that strict security checks are placed to get entrance in to the VIP lounge.

Abdul Hannan Dec 24, 2016 11:42am

First "they" think sacrifice is good and publishe it, when it's bounce back, "they" start inquiry against it. This shows how mature we are. Doing mistakes and think we have done a good job and we deserve a reward. We never learn from our mistakes.

Sadaat Dec 24, 2016 11:44am

Histrionics. To divert the attention from the real issue. PIA needs to conduct proper investigation into the recent crash and fix responsibility.

FARHAN KERMANI Dec 24, 2016 11:45am

It is not PIA that should have started the investigation but CAA that should have first put its staff on the line. Stupid people.

DAWN READER Dec 24, 2016 12:04pm

@Syed F. Hussaini and that is where the problem lies and the professionalism lacks in the so called professionals.

Merchant Dec 24, 2016 12:43pm

The security at Pakistani airports is so weak that even an animal can pass through it!!

M Jamal Dec 24, 2016 12:44pm

While arriving from abroad at Karachi Airport you can see lot of government officials standing in a row in front of the escalators in Immigration hall holding play cards with name displayed of the VIPS arriving from abroad.Sometime it seem that nearly 25% of arriving passengers are VIPS. Really shame on this attitude as everyone who has a linked is misutilizing the facility as well as security risk.It also leave a bad impression on foreigners who arrive at Karachi Airport. If someone is listening it must be banned and our PM can issue the order.We have to start from somewhere.

Philosopher(from japan) Dec 24, 2016 12:44pm

Just concern about a single knife how about 17 kg heroin that was recovered by the Customs a couple of days back.

M.malik Dec 24, 2016 01:06pm

An investigation, a week later??

Where was PIA and security administration during this time.

How was anyone even able to take a goat and a knife close to a parked aircraft??? Why did no one stop this blunder?

Pathetic state if affairs!

pakistani Dec 24, 2016 01:43pm

It's a shame they killed the goat.

They should have put it in charge of PIA instead of sacrificing it.

It would have managed the national carrier much more effectively than the incumbent management.

ART KP Dec 24, 2016 02:17pm

Who's gonna ask Nawaz sharif, why he has been sacrificing and betraying Pakistan?

Jadugar Dec 24, 2016 03:38pm

Such acts of Butchring openly in an international institution creates a picture of fear and horror,

Rizwan Khan Dec 24, 2016 03:45pm

PIA should be baned and employees disbanded

of flying a kite even, as this is the standard of safety delivered by them

QaleeCH BAIG Dec 24, 2016 03:46pm

I passed through KHI airport on December 22 and noticed that many agency/PIA staff were by passing the security at the entrance. Flagrant violation of a basic security rules. Airport security staff was unprofessional and rude to passengers. No wonder no sane person likes to go to Pakistan.

The end is near Dec 24, 2016 04:07pm

Goat sadaqa is good for PIA Aircraft's security. it should be added to PIA security manual as a "must do" precautionary measure before every take off.

naji Dec 24, 2016 04:15pm

What? What? We can bring 15 to 20 Kg Heroin in a plane so why you are surprise about one black goat and knife?

anees zed Dec 24, 2016 04:20pm

And the investigation will cost 20 times more than the goat. Let's slaughter another goat if this investigation brings out something concrete.

Anwar khan Dec 24, 2016 04:47pm

What a shame. .. what investigation. ...? The image can see very clear who slaughtered the black goat....another commission for this case..?

Ray Khan Dec 24, 2016 06:10pm

From the same airports people with name on ECL, Corrupt Politicians, Smugglers, Keepays, and God knows who pass without noticing. The security staff is worried for a Butcher Knife. In Pak anything and anywhere is possible.


Maqood Dec 24, 2016 06:09pm

Straight termination should be there.

MM Dec 24, 2016 06:13pm

Hahaha great one

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 24, 2016 07:08pm

An attempt in futile with no tangible results.

Adil Jadoon Dec 24, 2016 08:05pm

No wonder PIA is such a mess...with such an intelligent work force the company can only prosper to even greater heights.

MIAN Dec 24, 2016 08:48pm

everything is possible .

khanm Dec 24, 2016 08:51pm

It is very easy to sneak in anything anywhere as long as you are a big can get by with any thing including the murders..classic example model town is what elites tell you...wonder when we will open our eyes...

aamir mahmood Dec 25, 2016 06:03am

sadqah is islamic tradition, and all muslims believe it, why some people are mocking? respect believes and tolerates