ON the opening day of its post-budget session of the National Assembly, as was expected, there was a heated exchange of arguments between the opposition and the Minister for Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
It was pandemonium in the assembly hall when the minister remarked that PIA planes were used to fetch food for Nawaz Sharif. But that was one of such episodes during the PML-N ‘reign’ of misuse of PIA planes.
The PPP has its own share of many such episodes. If PIA planes fetched food for Nawaz Sharif, Zardari didn’t lag behind in extracting favours from PIA. There are numerous occasions when A-300 (two-engine aircraft) was replaced by a B-747 (four-engine aircraft) to carry his Land Cruiser along with him from Karachi to Islamabad and back.
It is anybody’s guess to calculate the huge difference of expenses incurred by PIA in such operations.
Now, since the cat is out, the need is to form another joint investigation team to investigate into the induction of pilots, engineers and ground staff during the last 30 years of blind loot and plunder. Only a JIT can find out how much bucks changed hands, and who were the beneficiaries.
Abid Mahmud Ansari
Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2020