Our Air Force One

By News Desk
April 21, 2024

This letter refers to the news story ‘PM’s return by regular PIA flight troubles passengers’ (April 10, 2024). It is disheartening to witness the recurrence of such incidents, especially in light of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent stance on curbing the VIP culture and advocating for austerity measures. The ordeal faced by around 380 passengers, enduring a prolonged wait aboard a diverted PIA flight, tarnishes the image of our government, especially considering it occurred during the PM’s first foreign trip, which could have been an opportunity to symbolize a departure from traditional VIP protocols.


What exacerbates this situation is the ongoing saga of PIA’s privatization, which has been on the agenda since the 1990s but remains unrealized. Despite several attempts to privatize the airline, it continues to be mired in inefficiency and financial woes. The vacillation of successive governments on this matter only serves to perpetuate the cycle of mismanagement and losses. Privatization holds the promise of transforming PIA into a more efficient and competitive entity and it would eliminate the privilege enjoyed by the ruling elite, who exploit the airline for their personal convenience at the expense of taxpayers.

Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui