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Event Title: Senator Hidayat Ullah Presides over a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation at Parliament House.

Event Date: 2023-02-16

Senate Aviation Committee summons the FIA, The ANF, the ASF and the Interior ministry to work a plan on elevating the standards of the international airport Islamabad
The Senate Aviation Committee on Thursday met under the Chairmanship of Senator Hidayat Ullah and discussed several pressing issues affecting the Aviation industry resulting in lack of credibility in the international community. "The Aviation Industry plays a key role in holding up with the foreign community, "they are assets to the country's economy" Chairman Committee maintained and said that the country's image is being compromised only because of irregularities and overlapping of authorities in the Aviation industry which must be streamed lined, he added. The committee also lamented on the poor, deteriorating condition of the Islamabad International airport, spoiling the image of the country. It was also noted that there are several counters at the airport from unconcerned departments and stopping passengers in a crude and unprofessional manner resulting in humiliation of the Passenger. He said Passengers should be treated with respect as per global practices. " I failed to understand the need of deputing staff on the way of the arrival calling out at the passengers crossing by" Hidayat Ullah questioned. The committee stressed the need to regularize the management of the airport and make a single counter for airport SOPS and do not allow stake holders to place various small tables on the way. The chairman committee summoned the ministry of Interior, the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) and the Airport Security Force (ASF) in the next meeting to discuss ways to regularize the management of the airport and improve the standards of the aviation sector in the larger national and international interest.

The committee also stressed the need to resolve the long pending issues of the Civil Aviation authority, specially those involving international interest and causing loss to the country's economy. The committee recommended to expedite all such issues and make the processes of investigation in various matters speedy. The committee emphasized the importance of ensuring the integrity of the Aviation industry. The chairman committee while emphasizing the need to refurnish the Aviation industry, showed resentment on reinstatement of dismissed PIA employees on fake degrees through an order issues by special committee of National Assembly as reported in the media. The Chairman committee maintained that fake degree is a criminal offence and there is no question of the employees to be reinstated and summoned the FIA as to explain why the FIA has not taken due action even after the orders of the Supreme Court and the recommendations of the PAC. The Chairman Committee maintained that immediate action should be taken place and arrest should be made of those who have committed illegality.

Briefing on recovery of Rs 90 million (approximately) from PIA officials on alleged charges of fake degrees, mentioning rules against the recovery was made and future steps to cease such kind of negligence along with disciplinary action against the management officials who were involved to appoint them without scrutinizing their testimonials. The committee was informed that as far as the recovery from officials is concerned, all of them were separated from service and there is no such possibility for PIA to make any recovery from these officials, however, for criminal action, cases have already been referred to FIA in light of the orders of the Supreme Court.

While receiving briefing by PIA on grant of inflation allowance to only some selected particular group of employees creating discrimination and anxiety among the other employees of PIA, the committee was apprised that as of now, there is no such allowance being paid to any of the employee/ group ; therefore, no discrimination has been made from PIA towards its employees.

While taking briefing by CAA on alleged theft of precious gold jewelry box at Lahore airport, which belongs Ms Bushra Rehman President for Pakistan Canada Trade Association and her luggage bags were booked for PIA flight departed from Lahore to Doha, Qatar on 26 November, 2022. It was apprised that the matter was investigated and it was found that passenger travelled on Qatar Airways flight no QR-621 and not PIA flight. Station Manager Qatar Airways was also approached to confirm whether any record of passenger declaration pertaining to carriage of valuables was made during check in process. The committee was briefed that the passenger didn't make declaration moreover it was apprised that airlines prohibited passengers to keep valuable items inside booked baggage as per airline policy due to which passenger are given opportunity to declare valuables at the time of check in. CCTV footage was also obtained indicating the passengers flight movement on 25-28th November, 2022. The committee was apprised that the passenger did not make any complaint, neither the valuables were declared. The matter was disposed of.

While taking briefing by CAA on non-increase in pension emoluments( @ 10%-10%-5% -25%) to those employees of authority who retired between fiscal years 2014-15 & 2022-23 as announced by Federal Government on different occasions from July 2021 to-date along with briefing dividing the pensioners in two groups, the committee observed that the effectees of the matter is not present as well the mover of the matter therefore the committee decided to defer the matter and deliberate in presence of the concerned.

Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah and Senator Dilawar Khan attended the meeting. Secretary Aviation, Joint Secretary Aviation, CEO PIA and other senior officers were also in attendance.