ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court has sought a report from the Civil Aviation Authority Director-General regarding the alleged illegal transfer of Rs5 billion from pensioners’ funds to JS Bank owned by Ali Jahangir Siddiqui.

The directives were issued on an application moved by an official of the CCA union.

Siddiqui, the envoy-designate to the United States, is also a shareholder in Air Blue, of which Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is a major stakeholder.

The Supreme Court has already taken notice of the alleged sale of profitable routes to private airlines including the Air Blue.

According to a report, PM Abbasi approved a proposal to illegally deposit CAA pensioners’ funds amounting to Rs5billion to the JS Bank.

The application moved by CAA Employees’ Secretary-General Muhammad Ayaz Butt said that “At the behest of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, a bulky pension fund of CAA pensioners have illegally and secretly been transferred to JS Bank in violation of rules and restrictions of the State Bank of Pakistan”.

The applicant has also attached a letter of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP), which said that the PM “approved a proposal on August 21, 2017 regarding depositing CAA Employees Pension Funds Trust in JS Bank at an interest rate of 6.25 percent, at least 3 percent less than the interest offered by other banks for this huge amount”.

The application moved by the union also clubbed together ‘facts’ about other alleged corruption, nepotism and favouritism in the CAA.

The application also said that the present government secretly outsourced various airports in the past and a Dubai-based company, M/s Mechanize Ltd, was hired for privatization of various airports and curtailing some important branches of the CAA to get the required results.  The reports’ privatizing was never made public as the then secretary defence and the Pakistan Air Force had objected to the privatization the airports, calling it a security risk. The application further said that the process was suspended, however, this time around the privatization was termed ‘outsourcing of airports’ so that no objection could be raised from any quarters.

“Interestingly, all the process was kept secret. To make their plan succeed, they first outsourced the oldest and strongest legal branch of the authority and gave the contract to a Lahore-based blue-eyed law firm to deal cases and other legal matters of the CAA,” the application said. 

“A contract of Rs49.9 million was given to the firm without following codal formalities. Till date, the CAA has reportedly paid more than Rs140 million (excluding TA/DA) to this firm without any benefit to the CAA,” the letter said.

“To privatize/outsource CAA airports, a company under the name and style of Pakistan Airport Survival Limited (PASL) was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan with a fake fabrication information. Without adopting a mandatory procedure, three ‘blue-eyed’ officers were nominated as directors of the company,” the application said. The officers were Director Human Resources CAA Sumair Malik, Director Planning and Development Nadir Shafi Dar, Additional Director Compensation and Benefits CAA Anis-ur-Rehman with distribution of 34, 33 and 33 percent shares respectively, it said.

“Strange enough, the occupations of all the three directors were shown as self-employed although all the three directors were regular senior officers of PCAA,” the application said.

It further said that the address of the company was shown as Government of Pakistan Aviation Division Islamabad and the SECP without any investigation registered the company.

The top court has directed the CAA DG to submit the report on before April 24.

 

SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN