The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded the resignations of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, saying their “incompetence and ego-worship” has tarnished the country’s reputation because the United Nations has restricted its employees from traveling with any ship. Pakistani airlines, Dawn reported.
The United Nations has warned staff from all of its agencies against using airlines registered in Pakistan, including the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), because of concerns about dubious flying licenses from its pilots.
PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz on Saturday lashed out at the government, saying that Pakistan paid the price for “historic incompetence”, Geo News reported.
“Pakistan is paying a degrading (government) price for this, historically inadequate and incompetent,” he wrote on Twitter, responding to news that the United Nations has banned its employees from traveling via Pakistan-based airlines.
“Because of the way these startups are being handled, the country is facing shame around the world. First, PIA pilots were humiliated around the world and now airlines have fallen to such a point. Pakistan has never seen days like that,” said Maryam.
PML-N senior leader Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that it was a decision that damaged Pakistan’s reputation simply because of the “incompetence and ego-worship” of the prime minister and the aviation minister.
The News International reports that an advisory has been issued by the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) which states: “Due to the ongoing CAA investigation [Civil Aviation Authority] Pakistan … due to dubious licenses, caution is advised on the use of registered air carriers in Pakistan. “
According to the Pakistani daily, UN advisors have been recommended to bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and many others.
Given these developments, UN officials working in the country are unable to travel on Pakistani registered airlines, even within Pakistan.
According to The News International, the UN advisor said that the air operator’s information was the result of a new automated system linked to a revised global air travel safety policy.
In December last year, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) extended the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ban by three months, despite expectations by Pakistani officials that the ban would be lifted.
EASA has informed PIA that the ban will only be lifted after a safety audit from the Civil Aviation Authority, Dawn reported. EASA in July 2019 has suspended authorization for PIA to operate flights in EU member states due to safety concerns.
The suspension comes after it was revealed that the credentials of hundreds of Pakistani pilots were “dubious”. Meanwhile, the PIA has lost billions of rupees since it suspended flight operations to and from the European Union and Britain.