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January 23, 2019

Ad tailor-made to hire PIA CEO: Rabbani

Top Story

January 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed Tuesday that presently 11 officers from Pakistan Air Force (PAF) were working in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on deputation, as former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani alleged the ad to fill the post of chief executive officer of the airlines was tailor-made for the incumbent CEO.

During the question hour, Rabbani questioned the ‘objective’ of certain qualifications mentioned in the ad to seek applications for the CEO, including experience of war operations and other defence disciplines, alleging it was tailor-made to accommodate the incumbent CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik. He wondered what these defence disciplines have to do with running the airlines.

Senators Sherry Rehman, Talha Mehmood pointed out that $30 million were received alone for scaling up of global lake outburst flood risk reduction in the northern Pakistan but just 0.16 million utilised so far. Another amount of dollars 5 million were received for sustainable land management programme but just dollars 2.30 million utilised. The Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said that the Ministry was working on various tasks to make full use of funds.

Senate Raza Rabbani called for convening a meeting of Senate committee of the whole to discuss the never ending extrajudicial killings in the country under the state policy, which started with the killing of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Speaking on a point of public importance in the House, Rabbani regretted that for a long time, under the state’s well thought out policy, extrajudicial killings were being committed and it paused with the murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti. “We witnessed Sahiwal incident, wherein parents and their sister were killed in front of children. The children whose smile is the future of this country, this state was supposed to give them the smile, but it snatched that smile from their faces,” Rabbani lamented. He said the personnel of the state kept targeting a couple riding a scooter with bullets in Karachi. He asserted that unless the rule of law was established, this situation would persist and he added the issue of missing persons and kidnapping of journalists, asking if the kidnapping of journalists had stopped, was not there a pressure on media house owners to fire working journalists not toeing the line of the establishment. In such a situation, he contended that it was the responsibility of the Parliament to take the lead, adding “if the Parliament failed to take lead in stopping all this, the history will place it in the category, where it will place the criminals”.

Senators Dr Jehnazeb Jamaldini, Tahir Bizenjo, Sassui Palijo cautioned against rolling back the 18th Amendment. Senator Bizenjo of the National Party rejected the perception that the amendment was like six points given by Sh. Mujibur Rehman.

Speaking on a point of public importance, Senator Usman Kakar of PkMAP raised the issue of a video clip of a 13-year-old boy Hayat Khan in North Waziristan, who, he said had made an appeal for rescuing his mother and sister from ‘some security forces’. Senator Kakar insisted that the ISPR should respond to it and asked all the political parties to take a stand on this issue. He also raised the issue of Majeed Kanju’s nephew, allegedly kidnapped by unknown persons in Rahim Yar Khan; he urged for referring it to the concerned committee of the House. The chairman sought report from Punjab government. Kanju is leader of Seraiki National Party.