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The Supreme Court on Friday ordered all managing directors (MD) of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) who have served in the past ten years to appear before the court on April 12.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a suo motu case concerning the proposed privatisation of the national carrier.

The CJP also directed the incumbent PIA MD to submit audited statements of accounts before the court in the next hearing.

Last week, the court had taken notice of profitable routes allegedly being taken away from PIA and being given to private carriers, especially Air Blue. It had also restrained the authorities from making fresh recruitment in PIA until further orders.

The Ministry of Defence, chairman PIA and the Federation of Pakistan are yet to submit their replies on both matters.

Since Shahid Khaqan Abbasi replaced PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister last year, the federal government has shown renewed interest in privatisation of the PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills despite questions being raised over the timing of the move as the incumbent government is just months away from ending its five-year term.