Pakistan

PIA flight operations remain suspended as protest enters 2nd day

KARACHI: PIA flight operations remain suspended as the protest, which claimed the lives of 3 employees of the airline, entered its second day.

As many as 16 flights were cancelled from Karachi and the Joint Action Committee said the situation would remain as such until those who were responsible for the murders of the three protesters were not brought to justice. Following the ensuing drama and chaos yesterday, PIA chairman Nasser Jaffar resigned from his post on February 2.

Yesterday, a protest rally by employees of the Pakistan International Airlines turned bloody as protesters clashed with police and Rangers personnel who deployed near Jinnah Terminal gate. The situation tensed when three staffers were killed and six people were injured, including media personnel. Protesters were rallied against the recommended privatization of the national airline.

Various political parties such as the MQM, JI, PTI and PPP condemned the loss of lives in yesterday’s protest.

The Prime Minister, on Tuesday spoke to the media and expressed disappointment at the protest. He said the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act had been invoked for the Pakistan International Airlines in order to improve and enhance the performance of the airline. Nawaz also said passengers and common people had to face difficulties on account of the poor performance of the national flag carrier.

Nawaz Sharif also said these protests were costing the airline Rs 100 million per day and some political parties were deliberately backing the protesters. The Prime Minister also warned of severe action against those who were acting as miscreants by stating the penalty could be termination of service and a year of imprisonment under the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act.

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