ISLAMABAD: Senate Special Committee on performance of PIA in its meeting expressed serious apprehensions about the system of accountability in the administration of the national flag carrier after it was informed that the Captain involved in violating the rules and inviting a Chinese passenger in the Cockpit on 6th May in PK-853 has not been suspended yet.

The meeting was held with Senator Mushahidullah Khan as its convener on Thursday at the Parliament House.

The meeting was told that the captain has been grounded and deployed with the Karachi office but has not been suspended.

It was also informed that the same pilot flew the flight again from Beijing to Islamabad despite being already grounded and has previously also been involved in harassment inquiries and fake degree cases.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation affairs Sardar Mehtab Abbasi assured the committee that the pilot will be suspended today (Friday) and the suspension orders will be communicated with the convener and members of the special committee.

The committee also discussed the matter of Captain Amir Hashmi who was reportedly sleeping during flight for more than one hour in PK-785 on 26 April this year and the matter of heroine found in the PIA aircraft at Heathrow airport a few days back.
Regarding the recommendations of sub-committee of this special committee, the committee and the adviser found themselves at odds on the subject whether the recommendations of Parliamentary sub-committee are binding on PIA or not.

The sub-committee members after having 15-20 long sittings with all stakeholders in Karachi and Islamabad had compiled a detailed report which was later laid in Senate sitting.

The committee today sought the implementation status of different recommendations made in the report but the Adviser was of the view that PIACL is now a company and is not under direct control of the government; hence making the recommendations binding might affect its functioning according to the new business model.

The Committee members, however, were of the view that the government still holds 91% of shares of the newly transformed company and hence it requires Parliamentary oversight.

The matter will be discussed with Chairman Senate and the status of recommendations will be decided afterwards.