PIAs unfortunate fate

Instead of a piecemeal and continuous bleeding of PIA and national exchequer through incompetent political appointees, it would be far better to sell it, so that it can survive as a profitable venture. There is no political will to provide the airline with honest professionals, nor any intent to stop its pilferage, or the culture of kickbacks or corruption by the mediocrity of crooks that dominate its executive corridors. In my humble opinion, unless the Supreme Court of Pakistan intervenes, it would be wiser and more cost effective to sell this airline at a nominal value to a party, which is willing to take over its liabilities along with the routes. However, there should be one condition, that while the routes remain property of federal government, they can be used by its new owners solely for operation by aircrafts with PIA Logo, and cannot be sold or bartered by them to any other party or airline. In case there is any misuse by new owners, the routes should be withdrawn. This would save the national flag carrier, and prevent its abuse, which unfortunately has been occurring for more than over 10 years. PIA is collapsing because of its massive abuse by successive military and civil governments. This abuse has become more acute since the appointment of this present management headed by an MD, who has never gone to any college or university and his only merit is that he is a street smart crony with a shady reputation. Such a deal if brokered honestly, would be far better than doling out its only remaining asset, namely international routes and take off slots through such shady deals like those being done with Turkish Airlines. As far as the proposed deal is concerned, Turkish Airlines should not be blamed, because they have negotiated the best possible deal for their airline. A separate domestic and regional airline owned by the state called Pakistan Airways can be run to meet our essential logistic and air transportation requirements. ALI MALIK TARIQ, Lahore, January 21.

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