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National

February 15, 2018

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Senate body report: FO asked to contact German Embassy for bringing PIA ex-CEO back

Senate body report: FO asked to contact German Embassy for bringing PIA ex-CEO back

ISLAMABAD: Adopting the report of its subcommittee, the Senate Special Committee on PIA on Wednesday asked the Foreign Office to approach the German Embassy in Islamabad to bring back former CEO of PIA Bernd Hilldenbrand, a German national, who was allowed to go abroad in June last for one month on embassy intercession despite that CEO name was on the ECL.

The recommendation was contained in the report of its subcommittee on “Sale of PIA Airbus A-310 to a German firm in violation of rules”. It was presented by its Convener Senator Farhatullah Babar and other two members of the committee Senators Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and Nauman Wazir Khattak were also present.

Two firm steps need to be taken, the report said. One, the then CEO should be brought back. The FO should be asked to vigorously pursue it with the German Embassy on whose intercession the limited one-time waiver from ECL was granted.

Two, the show cause notice issued to the then Director (P&L), a former PAF officer be pursued to logical conclusion as his retirement from the Force being of no consequence in such pursuit. The Senate Secretariat be regularly kept informed of the progress in both these cases, the report said.

It is strange that, as claimed, the matter of the sale of aircraft was confined to only two officers namely the then CEO and a Director. “The PIA management cannot escape responsibility even though it took some positive actions after the matter became public,” the report said.

The report also called for diligently pursuing Inquiry/Investigations by the NAB to which the issue has already been referred under directions of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly and that the Senate Secretariat regularly informed of the progress made.

Senator Farhatullah Babar proposed that the Senate Secretariat instead of the committee be regularly kept informed of the progress so that it may be pursued by the new Senate next month. The Special PIA Committee will become dysfunctional next month and his own term in the Senate will also expire. The Special Committee concurred.

The report also described the termination of contract of the CEO and reverting the Director (P&L) to his parent service were too little too late. The former was allowed to go abroad despite his name being on the ECL and the show cause notice issued to the latter not pursued.

The matter should have been reported to FIA/NAB soon after its seriousness had become obvious instead of waiting for media / parliamentary attention gaining mass and the Public Accounts Committee of National Assembly directing that the mater be referred to the NAB, it said.

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