SC directs NAB to probe PIA CEO's appointment

SC directs NAB to probe PIA CEO's appointment

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe into Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Dr Musharraf Rasool Cyan’s appointment and salary.

“NAB should investigate the PIA CEO’s appointment and the salary and perks offered to him,” the chief justice remarked while hearing a suo motu case at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry.

The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of difficulties faced by passengers at Skardu airport following a special PIA air safari that caused a four-hour delay of a Skardu-Islamabad flight on Tuesday.

During the hearing today, Justice Nisar expressed anger at the PIA CEO’s action and directed NAB to probe his appointment.

Justice Nisar also questioned Cyan, who was present for the hearing, regarding the guest list for the air safari. 

"Who gave permission for the air safari?" he asked the PIA CEO.

"There were 112 passengers on board that flight of which 42 were guests. Were air fares taken from those 42 guest passengers?" the CJP inquired.

To this, Cyan responded, "The 42 passengers were taken on the air safari for free."

The top judge then ordered Cyan to pay the ticket money of the 42 guest passengers to the airline from his salary. "You will pay for the tickets of the guest passengers from your own pocket," Justice Nisar told the PIA CEO.

Justice Nisar also questioned Cyan as to why the air fares on the Islamabad-Skardu route are so high. 

"The ticket for the Islamabad-Skardu flight costs Rs12,300. These high air fares are damaging tourism," he remarked.

The CJP further asked the PIA CEO to review the air fare on the Islamabad-Skardu route. 

A contempt of court notice was also issued to the PIA CEO for using Markhor logo on planes despite a court order barring them.

NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javaid Iqbal on Wednesday took notice of media reports stating that Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allegedly took a group of friends for a special tour of Nanga Parbat on a PIA plane scheduled for a flight.

Geo News reported that DG CAA Hassan Baig took a group of friends for a special tour of Nanga Parbat on a PIA plane and that "the tour took place as passengers waited for the plane’s arrival at Skardu airport for their scheduled flight.”

As per reports, when the plane finally landed at Skardu airport after a delay of hours, passengers protested and lashed out at the DG CAA.

Baig, however, denied using a plane of the national carrier.

“I went for an air safari on the invitation of PIA CEO,” he upheld adding that the national carrier told him that they are starting an air safari and thus wanted to invite him.