LAHORE – The PIA management is reluctant to take action against seven pilots whose educational certificates were found fake, according to sources. However, an aviation expert said the PIA would recommend criminal proceedings against them over cheating.

The airline has sent these pilots on forced retirement with all benefits and most of them have joined foreign airlines, the sources said, adding that captain Faheem was dismissed from service while Capt Arshad, Capt Shayan, Capt Jahanzeb, Capt Haneef, Capt Shahid Mannan and Capt Asmat were sent on forced retirement.

Faheem has joined Shaheen Airlines, Shahid Mannan joined Dubai-based Ryan Airlines and Shayan left for Saudi Arabia first and then reportedly he has joined a cargo firm, Vetran.

More than half of total strength of pilot is foreign nationality holders and belong to influential families. Trend of posting officers in violation of merit against high vacancies started in the era of former president Ziaul Haq when he visited Canada where a Canadian national Shayan met him and requested for job in PIA.

Later, such appointments were made in Benazir Bhutto government when Ijaz Haroon was appointed PIA central control general manager in defiance to merit.

In the Nawaz Sharif government, a Matric passed Capt Hamayun Jamil was appointed general manager (administration) and Zulfi was appointed as general manager information technology in Musharraf regime.

Moreover PIA MD Ijaz Haroon appointed up to six pilots in sheer violation of rules and regulations …

Well-placed sources in PIA said about 2,000 officials were performing duties and out of them airlines management has terminated the services of 201 officials since 2006 to onward.

A PIA officer said, “We are in process of verification of all of our officials and so far educational degrees of 4,000 to 6,000 officials were found satisfactory. However, Lahore-based sources said certain officers promoted to senior groups were performing on fake degrees arranged from Al-khair University. Interestingly they have shown their educational session at a time when they were present on duty in Lahore and at the same time they were also attending classes and examinations in the university.