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Govt-JAC talks inconclusive as PIA strike enters 5th day — flight ops remain suspended

ISLAMABAD: Flight schedules remain affected as the strikes by the employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) against the state institution’s privatization entered into its fifth day, ARY News reported. Reports also emerged that an initial round of talks was held between members of the Joint Action Committee and the Privatization Minister Mohammad Zubair in Karachi.

The PIA employees have stated that the flight schedule will remain affected till their demands are met and they will continue their protests.

Earlier, a “meaningful” meeting was held between the Chairman of PIA employees’ Joint Action Committee Sohail Baloch and Privatization Minister Mohammad Zubair.

Zubair said that the federal government will look into the demands laid by the employees and claimed that there was no deadlock between the two parties.

Meanwhile, Advisor to the Prime Minister on National History and Literary Heritage Irfan Siddiqui denied that the federal government was planning to privatize the national airliner.

According to Radio Pakistan, Siddiqui said that the government is looking for a strategic partner for the airliner and had no intentions of privatizing the airliner.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asserted that his government will not bow down to striking workers of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). He added that those playing politics on PIA issue do not want restructuring of the national flag carrier, people being facilitated and the country to progress.

On the other, rumors are being circulated that the arrangements regarding initiation of a new national airliner are being given final touches.

Sources said that the new airline service will start its operations within three to four months and 600 people will be employed in the institution compared to PIA’s 22,000.

Ticketing along with human resources and many other institutions will be outsourced.

PALPA: A spokesman for the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) said that the association was looking towards restoring normal flight operations.

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