The decision by PIA management to terminate illegal contract of Saleem Sayani as DMD, based in Karachi, is a welcome decision and will hopefully lead to weeding out all such appointments and contracts that have led to collapse of national airline. Sayani, a US national, was paid a fabulous tax free salary in US dollars in violation of rules governing appointment and salaries of state owned corporations.

READ MORE: A leather jacket

Responsibility of these irregularities lies solely with Chairman Board of Directors and its members. This management has also dispensed services of Haider Jalal, a retired former PIA Marketing officer, hired as a consultant, who during his tenure as DM had ordered closure of a functioning PIA Booking Office located in Gulberg Lahore just to promote sales of a controversial travel agency owned by his family, apart from other irregularities.

PIA under former Chairman Ahmed Mukhtar had seen its losses rise from Rs 42 billion in March 2008 to over Rs 120 Billion in 2012, with flight regularity at an all time low. It was during Mukhtar’s tenure that PIA management was dominated by cronies, most of them not even simple graduates, having one thing in common a foreign nationality and questionable financial integrity.

It was under this management that PIA’s controversial Director Marketing Imran, a political appointee, created an artificial shortage of seats by the nexus between his team and travel agents leading to black marketing of these tickets to pilgrims bound for Mecca and Medina.

PIA’s suicidal decision to close their option of multiple manufacturer recommended aircraft spare vendors to a single vendor, with no credibility, located in Dubai led to its operational collapse with half fleet grounded due lack of spares, while costs escalated because of this self created monopoly with most parts being ended procured on AOG basis. It was in his tenure that regular permanent employees of PIA, in violation of PPP manifesto and PIA rules, had their services terminated without assigning any reasons, while more employments were made in violation of merit without even verifying the authenticity of their fake degrees.

Jobs were allegedly sold during tenure of MD Aijaz Haroon and DA Hanif Pathan. PIA conducted their worst ever Hajj and Umra operations in terms of regularity and services to passengers. PIA needs to set its house in order and regain its lost glory.

Malik Tariq

Lahore , July17.