In last few weeks, there has been a rise in incidences of large quantity of heroin hidden on board PIA flights caught by Customs in Karachi. Huge quantities such as 27 kg of heroin cannot be brought into airport sensitive area through normal passenger entry points. This must have been sneaked into airport premises through various numerous entry points which are manned by ASF and hidden on aircraft behind panels with connivance of CAA, ground-handling agencies or airline employees. There are too many individuals exempted from search at our airports. As it is, Pakistan airports have been designated as unsafe. Emergence of housing societies and other commercial activity in the vicinity of what should have been a sterile zone have further compromised aviation safety. 

There is a Standard Operating Procedure, before every departure a joint search is conducted by ASF, Anti-Narcotics and concerned airline technicians certifying that they have checked aircraft especially toilets. Anti-Narcotic and Customs deployed trained dogs for such checks. The unfortunate reality is that there have been many frequent security lapses at Karachi Airport and nobody has been held accountable and punished. It was during PPP tenure under politically appointed DG and CFO of CAA that non-scheduled airlines were involved in undocumented operation and Landing and Parking Fee pocketed by them in connivance with other CAA officials for over a year. Media reports suggest that various commercial outlets located in transit lounges have been involved in Karachi and Lahore airport in organised money laundering and smuggling. Along with this, presence of too many foreign nationality holders, in both CAA and PIA crew, is another factor involved in organised money laundering. 

ANEELA CHANDIO,  

Sukkur, June 8.