Sherry Rehman slams govt’s decision to shift PIA’s headquarters to Islamabad

Islamabad: Rejecting the federal government’s decision to shift the head office of the national flag carrier from Karachi to
Islamabad, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said Section 7 (2) of the PIAC Act clearly states the Headquarters of the Company and any of its subsidiary companies carrying on air-transport business shall be at Karachi.

“The decision to shift the PIA head office cannot be taken by the PM or CEO since the authority lies with the parliament of our country. Why is the Parliament not been taken into confidence,” she said.

“Last year the Committee was assured that no such decision is being taken and now they have suddenly decided to shift the headquarters. Only the Parliament has the authority to amend the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (Conversion) Act, 2016.How can this be done without Parliament’s approval?” she asked.

The Senator said, “PIA management has not given a single valid justification for their decision. Why was the staff not taken on board for this decision? This is a political move with an ulterior motive”.

“We are fighting a pandemic and people are struggling to make ends meet. Yet the government is going ahead with its plan to cut PIA’s existing workforce by half. Employees are being forced to take the Voluntarily Separation Scheme (VSS). Instead of providing relief and job opportunities, they are taking away people’s livelihoods,” she added.

Rehman said, “It is because of this government that PIA is on the verge of collapsing. Of all the 262 pilots named by the federal minister for their ‘fake’ licenses, 180 have been cleared so far as they were wrongly named. Europe has still not lifted the ban, other airlines are taking our routes and PIA’s reputation is tanking. Incorrect statements and wrong decisions have contributed to PIA’s destruction. This incompetent government has no plan or policy to run the country and our institutions”.

Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “Since shifting PIA’s headquarters to Islamabad without parliament’s approval is illegal and unconstitutional, the government must reconsider its decision and take it back. PPP will ensure that the workers protected in these unprecedented times”.