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Former MDs of PIA barred from travel without court’s permission

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of financial irregularities in the national carrier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar Thursday ordered that no former managing director of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will leave the country without the court’s permission.

Chief Justice passed the order while hearing a suo motu case pertaining to sales of national assets at lower prices.

As the hearing proceeded the court was informed by the PIA’s counsel that from the year 2000 till now the national flag carrier has suffered losses of over rupees 360 billion.

The counsel told the court that in 2009 PIA suffered loses worth Rs.9.4 billion, Rs.20 billion in 2010, and Rs. 26 billion in 2011. Even the decrease in petrol prices could not marginalize the loses.

Further, the airline suffered a loss of Rs 44 billion in the year 2013, Rs 37 billion in 2014, Rs 32 billion in 2015, Rs 45 billion in 2016 and Rs 44 billion in 2017, the bench was informed.

The PIA’s counsel presented a 9-year audit record and informed the bench in response to a query that the organization’s per share is being sold presently at Rs five.

Referring to the airline’s previous managing directors, Chief Justice Nisar said that: “You all destroyed such a large asset of the country…this is an injustice. Those who destroyed PIA are enemies and traitors of the nation”.

PIA’s counsel also stated the Airline has a total of 32 aircraft to which the Chief justice asked are 32 planes enough and are all the property of PIA.

The counsel replied that some are owned by the  PIA while others are on lease.

The counsel also mentioned that one such leased aircraft with Rs. 85 million per month rent, has been grounded since last nine months.

In response to a question, the attorney general (AG), representing the federal government, said that at the time the government has no plans to privatize the national airline.

The AG also clarified that PIA had not sold its share of air routes to other airlines.

The bench ordered the former MDs of PIA to make sure their presence at every hearing of the case.

The hearing was then adjourned for two weeks.



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