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Pakistan

Indian lobby conspiracy behind seizure of PIA plane in Malaysia, says Sarwar

  • Minister claims PML-N government’s adviser on aviation Shujaat Azeem allegedly tried to grab kickbacks in the lease deal of the plane
  • PML-N government acquired the planes for PIA from a foreign firm at higher than the market value: Sarwar
Published February 2, 2021

(Karachi) Federal Mi­­nis­­ter for Avia­tion Ghulam Sarwar Khan has said that there is an Indian lobby conspiracy behind the seizure of the Pakistan Inter­national Airlines (PIA) passenger plane in Malaysia, local media reported on Tuesday.

Talking to media persons in Taxila the other day, Sarwar said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government acquired the planes for PIA from a foreign firm at higher than the market value.

He pointed out that PML-N government’s adviser on aviation, Shujaat Azeem, allegedly tried to grab kickbacks in the lease deal of the plane. "Azeem controlled by some Indians," he stated.

The minister mentioned the lease of the seized PIA plane expired in July last year and the government had decided not to extend it.

Last month, PIA plane was held back by Malaysian authorities due to a British court case over the jet’s lease. The Boeing 777 aircraft was seized after a court order. The case involved a $14 million lease dispute.

The PIA plane was taken on lease from a Vietnamese company in 2015. The national flag carrier’s spokesman said that the matter is under hearing at British court.

Moreover, Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had claimed that PIA acquired the plane on expensive lease during tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) term.

The aviation minister said that PIA failed to pay lease on time due to coronavirus pandemic but Malaysian court issued order without listening to arguments of the airline.

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