ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahidullah Khan on Wednesday formed a sub-committee to assist the PIA management in reviewing cases of more than 700 employees who had been dismissed for possessing fake degrees and possibly reinstating them.
“Most of them are poor people. The management should have taken a lenient stance instead of a harsh action of terminating their services,” pleaded chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation at a meeting of the committee.
It has been over a year now that Mushahidullah Khan has been urging the management of Pakistan International Airlines to reconsider its ‘harsh’ decision and hand down less severe punishments to the staff that submitted fake degrees at the time of their inductions.
More than 700 PIA staff members had submitted fake academic documents at the time of their inductions.
Some 467 staff members were dismissed. As many as 201 former employees had obtained stay orders from courts against termination of their services. Among those terminated for possessing fake degrees were 16 pilots.
The committee expressed displeasure with the management for not sharing list of its officers and actions taken against those involved in the recruitment of employees on fake documents.
Chairman of the committee Senator Mushahidullah Khan of the PML-N has been demanding stern action against such officers also. “They should also be dealt with strictly,” he said.
Emphasising on equal treatment across the board, the senator also gave example of some PIA employees who had been retained by the organisation despite possessing fake documents.
The adviser to the PIA CEO, Air Vice Marshal Noor Abbas, told the committee that he was personally reviewing 80 per cent cases.
“They all, except three or four individuals, have admitted to have submitted fake documents. Many tampered with education certificates by changing dates and numbers,” Noor Abbas told members.
He informed the committee that an inquiry had been launched to determine employees who had submitted fake degrees but were still employed by the national flag carrier.
PIA has been defending its decision to terminate the services of its staff charged with possessing fake degrees, setting aside lawmakers’ directives to show leniency. The PIA management says that its decision is in line with Supreme Court orders.
The committee deferred a briefing on what it termed a dubious financial deal of Rs700 million in awarding contract for in-flight entertainmen to an ineligible firm after the PIA failed to provide documents of the agreement.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2020