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Sessions court seeks comments on plea to register FIR against PIA chief, aviation minister

Karachi

May 29, 2020

A district and sessions court on Thursday sought comments from the East SSP and the Model Colony SHO over an application seeking the registration of an FIR against Federal Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) chief Air Marshal Arshad Malik, and ground engineers and other technical staff related to the aircraft that crashed on May 22 in a residential area close to the Karachi airport.

The PIA flight PK-8303 was coming to Karachi from Lahore when it crashed in the Jinnah Garden housing society in the Model Colony area. Ninety-nine passengers were in the flight, of whom only two survived. The investigators, including the makers of the A320 jet, have been inquiring into the causes of the crash.

Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhail and his associate Rizwan Khanzada moved the application before the East district and sessions judge, saying that there had been a grave lapse on part of the technical team of the PIA which gave clearance to the aircraft at the Lahore airport to fly which later turned devastating because of apparent landing gear and engine failures.

They said necessary steps and formalities to check the aircraft were neglected for which the aviation ministry, PIA and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) were responsible. Calling for the inclusion of international experts in the inquiry, they expressed no confidence in the local investigators and apprehended that they might cover the crime to save the authorities.

They added that the delay in the prosecution may give benefit to the persons responsible for this and demanded the recovery of the voice box and release of the information from the black box of the crashed plane for a fair and transparent inquiry. They said the aviation minister who oversaw the CAA and the PIA chief were responsible for the incident.

Mandokhail said he had submitted a complaint to the SHO of the Model Colony police station within whose precinct, the area where the crash happened fell, but the officer refused to lodge an FIR. He added that a complaint was also made to the East SSP office but in vain.

He asked the court to direct the respondents under the Section 22-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure to register the FIR against the federal minister, PIA chief and staff. The court sought comments on the next hearing.