The Supreme Court of Pakistan has permitted Air Marshall Arshad Malik to start work as the Chief executive Officer of PIA. Previously Sindh High Court had restrained him from working as Chief Executive Officer of the national flag carrier. The said decision was issued on December 23, 2019.
In the hearing, a three – judges bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan which was headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed asked PIA management on Wednesday to present a thorough business plan with the court. The plan should be accompanied by the different business contacts entered by airline with international organization and the liabilities the airline is bearing.
SC bench also asked the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) and the Collective Bargaining Agents (CBA) Union to attend the next hearing to be held on April 20, 2020. The bench was detained for the hearing of appeal made by PIA CEO against the order of Sindh High Court.
In the petition filed in Sindh High Court against the appointment of Mr. Arshad Malik; the petitioner argued that the appointment of Mr. Malik was against the law since he had been a senior serving officer of PAF (Pakistan Air Force) then. As a precedent the judgment of apex court as of August 03, 2018 against the appointment of then CEO was presented by the petitioner.
“We assure you that PAF will not recall Malik soon”, assures AG
Now, the SC has allowed Mr. Arshad Malik to work when Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan assured the apex court about submitting a written reply assuring the continuity of the present CEO and that PAF will not be recalling him any time soon.
The AG informed the court that he is defending Arshad Malik appointment in continuance of the PM Imran Khan’s desire of appointing Mr. Malik as CEO of PIA since the organization which once was pride of nation is in worst situations. Mr Malik is the only hope as he represents the best team which can bring the organization out of the current difficulties.
He expressed this appointment as an arrangement of last resort since the financial crises depict that if not controlled situations will turn PIA into the Pakistan Steel Mills. This will affect the nation and country adversely.
The AG assured the court that experience that the current CEO possess will soon start changing the situations. As an example he quoted that the CEO has identified that the main cause of PIA losses is overstaffing. The ratio of staff per aircraft was the highest among world airlines.
When asked to justify appointment as CEO of an officer in uniform, the AG explained that the decision is to favour the organization and country and not for the sake of love for an individual. He said t hat in the past nine years twelve CEOs have been appointed. One of them was even locked in the wash room by the union members. He added, “But there are many hardworking employees in the airline who are carrying out their responsibilities honestly and justly”.
“Not only Corona but many other diseases may enter the country due to security flaws at Airports”, regrets Chief Justice
The Chief Justice, during the hearing, regretted that the airport of country and PIA played vital role in spreading the coronavirus and the government instead of controlling the spread asked the courts to shut down and suspend working. He feared, “If this is the state of affairs of security in the country then no one could block the entry of diseases inside the country”.
The chief justice asked the attorney general if he could name a single good thing in PIA. He commented that PIA aircrafts are parked and are in decaying condition. Chief Justice said, “Who will be responsible in case of any incident”.
Chief Justice asked about the act of former PM of taking the PIA aircraft with him on his London visit and parking the same there until his return.