Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.(AFP)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.(AFP)

Pakistan opposition lambasts PM Imran Khan after UN restricts staff from flying by Pakistani airlines

The United Nations has cautioned staff of all its agencies against using any Pakistan-registered airline, including the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), due to concerns about the dubious flying licences of its pilots.
ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 05:57 AM IST

Pakistani Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded resignation from Prime Minister Imran Khan and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, saying their "incompetence and ego worship" have destroyed the country's reputation as the United Nations has restricted its employees from travelling aboard any Pakistani airline, Dawn reported.

The United Nations has cautioned staff of all its agencies against using any Pakistan-registered airline, including the national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), due to concerns about the dubious flying licences of its pilots.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Saturday lambasted the government, saying that Pakistan is paying the price for its "historic incompetence", Geo News reported.

"Pakistan is paying the price for this servile, historically unqualified and incompetent (government)," she wrote on Twitter, in response to news that the United Nations has barred its employees from travelling via any Pakistan-based airlines.

"Due to the way things were handled by these novices, the country is facing embarrassment the world over. First, the PIA pilots were humiliated around the world and now the airline has fallen to such a point. Pakistan never saw such days ever," Maryam said.

Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said that it was a decision that destroyed Pakistan's reputation just because of the "incompetence and ego worship" of the prime minister and aviation minister.

The News International reported that an advisory has been issued by the UN Security Management System (UNSMS) which states: "Due to an ongoing investigation of the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] Pakistan...due to dubious licences, caution is advised on the use of Pakistan-registered air operators."

According to the Pakistan daily, the UN advisory has been recommended to agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), UN High Commission for Refugees, UN Development Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, and many others.

In the light of this development, that UN officials working in the country can not travel by any Pakistan-registered airline, even within Pakistan.

According to The News International, UN advisory said that the air operator information is the result of a new automated system, which is linked with the revised global air travel safety policy.

Back in December last year, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had extended a ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for three months, despite the Pakistani officials' expectations that the ban would be lifted.

The EASA had informed that the PIA that the ban would only be lifted after a safety audit of the Civil Aviation Authority, Dawn reported. The EASA had in July 2019 suspended the authorisation for PIA to operate flights in the EU member states due to safety concerns.

The suspension had come after it was revealed that the credentials of hundreds of Pakistani pilots were "dubious". Meanwhile, PIA has suffered a loss of billions of rupees since the suspension of flight operations to and from the European Union and the United Kingdom.

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