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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Wednesday told National Assembly that criminal proceedings will be initiated against 28 pilots of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) who have been terminated from service while action has been initiated against a total of 54 pilots for holding fake licenses.

Responding to a calling-attention notice moved by Mutaza Javed Abbasi of PML-N and others, regarding suspension of authorization for PIA by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and British authorities to operate in Europe, he said that notices of suspension of duties have been sent to 34 more pilots.

He said that EASA has also sent a letter to third-country operators, recommending they suspend all pilot validations issued against Pakistani licenses, adding it also requested that any carrier employing pilots holding Pakistani validated licenses inform the agency of any measures taken or planned to that regard. He said that jobs were "sold" and the pilots were hired through fake examinations after payment of bribery by the previous governments, adding this is the reason the national flag carrier was flooded with pilots having bogus degrees. "When merit is violated and favouritism prevails over anything else like it happened during previous governments, then the repercussions will be horrible and intuitions would collapse," he said.

He questioned why the ruling government is to be blamed for something with which it has nothing to do, adding none of the pilots having fake licences was hired by the incumbent government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020