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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed on Thursday that net losses of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) witnessed a dramatic surge compared to the previous three years – 2019, 2020 and 2021 – as the total net loss of the national flag carrier stood at Rs69.61 billion from January to October 2022.

In a written reply, Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that the total net loss of the national flag carrier stood at Rs52.6 billion in 2019, Rs34.6 billion in 2020, and Rs50.1 billion in 2021.

To a supplementary, the minister said that the reason behind the deterioration of the national flag carrier is unnecessary political recruitments which brought the airlines to the brink of collapse.

He said that PIA had 100 airplanes when it started its operations back then which has now reduced to 12, adding in the next six months, the government is planning to take the number of local small jets to 32.

Meanwhile, Saira Bano of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) strongly condemned the derogatory remarks against women by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

She said that the language which the cleric used against women is condemned as he claims to be a religious man but the way he spoke against women is not acceptable.

However, Religious Affairs Minister Maulana Abdul Shakoor who comes from the JUI-F defended the statement made by his party leader, saying his party respects women. He said that the PTI is making the role of women controversial, which is not acceptable. Interestingly, no other women lawmakers who claim to be the champions of women’s rights even bothered to condemn the remarks by the top JUI-F cleric.

Mohsin Dawar, an independent MNA, who now sits on treasury benches, while speaking on a point of order, said that he was barred from travelling to Tajikistan to attend a function.

He said that his name had already been removed from the exit control list (ECL) in October, but even then he was barred from travelling abroad, which is an infringement on his fundamental and constitutional rights.

He requested the NA speaker to forward a privilege motion moved by him to the committee concerned of the house, upon which the speaker referred the matter to the committee.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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