RAWALPINDI - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif pointed finger towards the authorities who issued licence to a defaulter Bhoja Airline for air services and urged to hold an detailed inquiry into the case and bring the facts before the nation.

“A free and partial inquiry should be held against the quarters concerned, which awarded license to Bhoja Airline for resuming its operation since it was defaulter and had no permission from Ministry of Defence for operation,” he added.

The CM said this while talking to media men at Benazir Bhutto International Islamabad Airport after his arrival from Lahore. He was flanked by PML-N ministers and many other office-bearers.

Talking to media persons, he said that it was a big tragedy and expressed his sympathies with the families of those who were killed in the plane crash.

He said that a free and fair inquiry should be made and findings should also be made public. “Action should be taken against the responsible of the tragedy without any discrimination,” the CM added.

Later, Shahbaz Sharif visited Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to meet the relatives of the plane crash victims and express his condolences.

Talking to media persons at the hospital, he said the record of the black box conversation between the pilot and the control tower should be made public.

The plane’s black box recovered from the site of the crash has been handed over to the head of the investigation team, while the army has handed over the control of the crash site to the civil authorities.

He called for a transparent and thorough investigation into allowing Bhoja airline resumption of its service after having been closed for several years following its default of billions of rupees.

He said the airline was defaulter of civil aviation authority and due to its poor function, it was stopped from operation. He said it was necessary to find out on whose direction the airline was allowed to resume operations.

He questioned as to why a company, which was defaulter of billions of rupees was allowed to play with the lives of women, children and elderly people.  He said there should be investigations into the crash as well as permission to the company.

He described the incident a national tragedy and said immediately after the happening, he directed activation of  all the departments of Provincial government and opened Punjab Houses in Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the relatives of the victims.

Shahbaz said reports had been appearing in the media that Bhoja airline was a bank defaulter and he had been pointed out that loans written off on political considerations have destroyed the national economy.

He questioned how a bank defaulter airline was granted  permission to operate.

He said after the tragedy, the Punjab Government extended all the support to the Federal government and Rescue and Elite force teams participated in the relief operations.