Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

17 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.80

The licences are not fake but only dubious

Civil aviation industry in Pakistan, the Supreme Court warning on Pakistan Steel Mills, politics behind Pakistan providing access to Kulbhushan Jadav

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
The licences are not fake but only dubious
The Civil aviation minister changes his tune. Blame is on the media

Opposition demands resignation of minister over pilots’ licence racket
The opposition took Aviation Minister to task in the National Assembly and a Senate standing committee over his allegation that 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots possessed “dubious licences” and calling for his resignation. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Dr Nafisa Shah pointed out to the damage caused due to statement demanding the minister to resign after the letter written by CAA Director-General to a high-ranking aviation official of Oman, clarifying that all pilot licences issued by the CAA were “genuine and validly issued” and “none of the licences are fake”. Further, Mr Shah said “If the minister is speaking the truth then the CAA DG should resign. But if the DG’s letter is stating the correct position, then the minister will have to go.” Further, Sherry Rehman from the PPP raised the issue in the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation headed by PML-N’s Mushahidullah Khan and stating that it was a “wrong move” by the aviation minister which had damaged Pakistan’s reputation. (Amir Wasim, Mohammad Asghar, “Opposition wants minister fired over pilot licences row,” Dawn, 17 July 2020)

Aviation minister remarked without verifying facts, says Editorial
The editorial speaks of the appalling shift in the narrative regarding the “fake licenses” of PIA pilots. Following Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan’s statement that 40 per cent of the Pakistani pilots’ licences were fake (later called 'dubious'), director-general of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority wrote to Oman’s CAA ensuring that all issued licenses were genuine. The union of Pakistani pilots, PALPA has also expressed solidarity with CAA’s confirmations/claims. The article says that the damage has been done; colossal chaos and a global loss of trust in the reliability and safety of PIA. IATA has expressed concerns and European Union air safety body has banned the landing of PIA planes within the EU. The article says the aviation minister made “a dramatic announcement in parliament without first verifying the facts”, perhaps to privatise PIA.  (“Flying fiasco,” The News International, 17 July 2020)

Dubious licence of Pakistan pilots
According to CAA Director General Hassan Nasir Jamy, the matter has been misconstrued and incorrectly highlighted in media and social media platform. The allegation on country aviation industry has in particularly impacted the flag carriers. This may take a little longer time to recover. (“Confusion abounds,” Dawn, 17 July 2020)

Article provides a road map to probe the PIA issue.
Shariq Jamal Khan says that while Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is in the throes of a massive institutional scandal, Pakistan’s honour is as stake. He speaks of the necessity of an independent Inquiry Commission constituted under Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Act, 2017. Khan calls for significant actions by such an investigation committee: a review of recruitment regulations, examine the legality of processes of induction so far, ensure required educational qualifications are met, confirm verification of provided documents, check whether PIA has the globally required inbuilt personnel training system and a high-end performance evaluation system, and identify those involved in illegal activities. (“PIA in the eye of the storm,” The Nation,17 July 2020)

Plan to revamp the Pakistan Steel Mills may lead to a disaster: SC 
On 16 July, the Supreme Court critical of the federal government’s initiative to revamp the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and warned that this plan might lead to a disaster. Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed stated: “whatever the PSM management is planning will only create hurdles since it will burden the courts more as 5,000 cases will come to the courts and the management eventually has to reinstate majority of them (the employees).” Further adding that PSM management has not come up with a proper plan nor do they have an idea on what they are doing. The court has asked for a comprehensive report on the revival of the steel mill and has postponed the further proceedings for a month. (Nasir Iqbal, “Steel Mills revamp plan may lead to disaster, warns SC,” Dawn, 17 July 2020)

Diamer-Bhasha project with indigenous financing
The Diamer-Bhasha project to be built with the indigenous financing, PSDP will provide Rs 234 billion, Wapda to will provide equity of Rs 100 billion and $1.4 to be generated through the international financial market. The total estimate of Rs 480 billion will be incurred for the building of the dam. (“Diamer-Bhasha Dam: Dam portion to be built through indigenous financing plan”, The International News, 17 July 2020)

Diamer Basha will determine PTI’s future, says Article
PM Khan inaugurated the construction of the Diamer Basha dam highlighting the benefits Pakistan would accrue from it. the article credits the government for commencing the multi-purpose project that would generate 16,000 jobs and provide a stimulus to the bleak economy. The article says that Pakistan must learn from India’s mistakes and torment in constructing big dams that “wreaked havoc in people’s lives”. The article also warns PTI that the dam would determine the party’s political future. The article concludes on an optimistic note saying that matters related to the Diamer Basha dam would go smoothly provided deadlines and quality standards are maintained. (“Inaugurating The Dam,” The Nation, 17 July 2020)

6 per cent decline in textile exports
Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed that the textile and clothing exports from the country recorded negative growth of over six per cent year-on-year to $12.526 billion in the fiscal year 2019-20 compared to $13.327 billion in the corresponding period last year. Recovery in international orders allowed for a resurgence in textile exports when compared to 36.5per cent decline in May, exports in June declined by 5.43per cent over the last year. Further, the opening up of North America and other European countries amid the pandemic is expected to help revive the sinking exports. Further, stalled containers at ports since 22 March have mostly been cleared in June. Additionally, the government also reopened exports through the land route to Iran and Afghanistan in June. (“Textile exports decline 6pc to $12.5bn,” Dawn, 17 July 2020)

Second consular access to Kulbhushan Jadav

On 16 July, a second consular to two consular officers of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to access Kulbhushan Jadhav was provided. The foreign ministry made a statement, “Pakistan remains committed to fully implementing the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) the judgement of July 17, 2019. It is hoped that India will cooperate with the Pakistan court in giving full effect to the said judgment”. (“Indian spy given consular access second time”, Dawn, 17 July 2020)

Report says New Delhi’s second consular access to Jadhav revealed ill intensions 
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says India is disinterested in the consular access, as two of Indian High Commission’s consular officers in Islamabad left the “unimpeded and uninterrupted consular access to Commander Jadhav” without hearing Khulbhushan Jadhav. This was the second consular access provided by Pakistan; the first was on 2 September 2019. Qureshi said that the consular access was devoid of any glass partition or video or audio recording of any sort. He claimed that Pakistan was ready to provide yet another consular access to India. “If they (India) want to meet him tonight or tomorrow, we are ready,” Qureshi added. (“Indian officials left without hearing Jadhav,” The Express Tribune, 16 July 2020)

"Whatever the PSM management is planning will only create hurdles since it will burden the courts more as 5,000 cases will come to the courts and the management eventually has to reinstate majority of them (the employees)...The PSM management has neither a proper plan or nor do they have any idea what they are up to"

-  Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed questioning the government initiative to revamp the Pakistan Steel Mills (Dawn)

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