The government decided on Friday to outsource airports in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi in a bid to attract foreign direct investment and provide "world-class facilities" to passengers.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss matters pertaining to the aviation sector, a PM Office press release said.

It was decided that the government would hire the services of operators of international repute to run three major airports in the first phase.

As per the plan, the international operators would help run the said entities for a period of 20-25 years.

The meeting also decided to engage the International Finance Corporation to provide consultancy services.

The international operators would provide the services of international standards at the said airports besides uplifting them through foreign investment.

The meeting gave the Public Private Partnership Authority a go-ahead to initiate the formalities.

The prime minister instructed the authority to ensure the accomplishment of the process transparently and in accordance with the highest standards.

The participants were also told that 44 countries were pursuing the public-private-partnership formula including the US, UK, India, Bahrain, and Brazil where the airports were run under the PPP mode.

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