Pakistan aviation minister under fire over pilots' licence issue

Pakistani pilots, Ghulam Sarwar, licence
Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan came out in defence of his remarks, stating that he had declared the licences of the pilots as 'dubious' and not 'fake'.

Islamabad - Opposition parties demand immediate resignation and accountability of Ghulam Sarwar



By IANS

Published: Fri 17 Jul 2020, 2:49 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Jul 2020, 5:04 PM

The issue of Pakistani pilots having fake or dubious pilot licences, as admitted by Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar, has taken an absolute U-turn after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) declared that all licences issued by it to the pilots are "genuine".
The statement issued by the CAA is a direct contradiction to the Minister's allegations, who said that at least 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots possessed fake licences.
The revelation made by the CAA has put the Aviation Minister in hot water as opposition parties have demanded immediate resignation, along with accountability of the minister.
The opposition parties in the National Assembly and the Senate standing committee faced the Minister with serious uproar.
"The Minister, through his false statement had caused a daily loss of Rs500 million to the Pakistani International Airline (PIA) and removal of about 200 pilots from various airlines and damaged the national prestige at the international level," said Nafisa Shah, Member National Assembly (MNA) of the opposition the Pakistan People Party (PPP).
"Various aviation agencies of the world have already sent letters to us. Tomorrow, our air space can be handed over to some other country. This is treason," she said, while demanding an immediate resignation of the Minister.
The issue was also brought up at the Senate standing committee where opposition party leaders raised the issue, stating that "it was a wrong move by the aviation minister which had damaged Pakistan's reputation".
However, the Aviation Minister came out in defence of his remarks, stating that he had declared the licences of the pilots as "dubious" and not "fake".
"It might be damaging for the country in short term but for the future it was important to show the world through actions that we are improving our systems," he said.
The issue of fake licences of Pakistani pilots attracted global attention as global destinations, airlines and air safety agencies had suspended authorization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
The issue brought global embarrassment to Pakistan and was declared as the biggest aviation scam in the global aviation industry.
The Aviation Minister's remarks the prompted European Union Air Safety Agency to suspend PIA authorisation to operate to the EU member states for six months, while the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also shared its concern over the serious lapse in the licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator.
The US Department of Transportation had also revoked permission for the PIA to conduct charter flights to America and downgraded Pakistan's air safety rating after the agency raised concerns about pilot certifications. - IANS
Pakistani pilots, Ghulam Sarwar, licence
Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan speaks during a press conference in Islamabad on June 26, 2020.
Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan came out in defence of his remarks, stating that he had declared the licences of the pilots as 'dubious' and not 'fake'.


More news from