LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday issued an interim stay order restraining the federal government from privatizing Allama Iqbal International Airport Lahore till further orders.
The court issued notices to the federal authorities, Cabinet Secretary, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and other official respondents to submit their respective replies to the petition before the hearing.
Former federal minister Dr Mubashir Hassan and others petitioned the high court questioning the privatization of three major airports.
The petitioners submitted that the federal government intended to outsource the country’s three airports to foreign companies, which might put the national security at stake.
It was contended that the airports were sensitive areas which by no means should be entrusted to foreign firms.
The court was pleaded to restrain the government from handing over the airports to foreign firms and issue an injunction against their privatization till disposal of the case.
A similar petition filed by the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) of the CAA employees was pending disposal in the Islamabad High Court.
In the petition, it was submitted that the government had initiated the process of privatizing the major airports including the New Islamabad International Airport, Allama Iqbal International Airport and Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.
The petitioners had stated that the news about outsourcing three airports had created a sense of insecurity among thousands of employees deployed at the airports as they feared termination of their services.
They pleaded to the court to stop privatization of the airports.