The Pakistani aviation industry is still suffering from the fallout of a controversial statement made by the aviation minister last year wherein he had accused the Pakistani pilots of having fake credentials.
In the latest blow to the aviation sector, the United Nations has asked its staffers to avoid travelling on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and other airlines registered in Pakistan.
Ghulam Sarwar, the aviation minister, had made the controversial statement in parliament in the aftermath of a deadly aircraft crash in Karachi that had resulted in the death of at least 98 people. Following the crash, the minister had blamed the pilot for the crash and said most pilots in the PIA didn’t even a required qualification to fly the planes.
His statement created an uproar, resulting in a ban on Pakistani pilots. The ban in Europe still persists.
A report in Geo News quoted an advisory issued by the UN Security Management System asking its employees to stop using the Pakistani airlines for travelling.
“Due to an ongoing investigation of the CAA [Civil Aviation Authority] Pakistan…due to dubious licenses caution is advised on the use of Pakistan-registered air operators,” said the statement.
The advisory has been issued for all Pakistan-registered carriers and has been recommended to all the UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme, World Health Organization, UN High Commission for Refugees, Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization and others.
The advisory by the UN also drew flak by a journalist who covers the aviation beat. Tahir Imran said that the advisory was “created by some dumb official at the UN” because it includes “cargo airlines” as well.
“Unless there are heavyweights working with the UN Pakistan who needs cargo aircraft to travel around,” he said while taking a jibe at the UN.