By Sarvat Hossein
Pakistan’s respectable Aviation Minister Mr Ghulam Sarwar khan has traumatised the whole world with his sudden announcement that we fly our international airline with pilots holding fake licenses . In a normal world, every plane crash should face a public inquiry, followed by the publication of a transparent report.The public and especially the victim’s families wait impatiently for the report, so as to understand the cause of the accident and how and why their loved ones passed away.
Unfortunately, Pakistan International Airlines has recorded 10 major crashes without producing a single transparent report of any of these accidents.
Last week, and right out of the blue, the Pakistan Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, presented a devastating report that revealed that almost 30% of pilots in the country have ‘dubious Licenses’ and ‘fake’ educational qualifications.
Let us remind ourselves that PIA has a history of achieving significant milestones in the world of aviation. PIA was the first Asian airline to operate a jet aircraft, the Boeing 707 and it was considered to be one of the safest airlines to travel with.
However, this flowery history of PIA sadly, cannot be detected in the current context. So, what went wrong as time passed by? Unfortunately, PIA has faced many plane accidents in past but why was it unable to produce transparent reports of the accidents in the past?
Aviation Minster added that 262 of the pilots ” did not take exams themselves ” and to obtain a pilots’ license, instead they paid money to someone else to appear in exams for them.
But analysts observed that Ghulam Sarwar Khan was forgotten to do his complete homework before the historical revelation he announced in the National Assembly of Pakistan and put the Pakistan aviation department on high alert in the eyes of world. Or may be he was politically scoring that previous governments did not bother to produce a transparent report.
Surely, he was under an obligation to check and confirm all the facts and numbers and to make sure the accused persons had fake degrees before his announcement in the Parliament. Instead, his announcement has somewhat backfired, and is entangled in a web of suspicions.
Mr Relevant Minister is entirely forgetting another fact, which is directly connected to this particular issue. What about taking legal action against the departments who employed these so called ‘fake pilots’? Any sane mind person would think that those departments and people who assist them, engaging in this illegal and criminal act would also be at fault, at least, to the same extent as the applicants.
So, the so-called report was not complete, and conclusions should not have been drawn. Naturally, this is an extremely sensitive issue and it has cost hundreds of innocent lives and many Pakistani pilots and engineers who are serving globally, have been suspended or possibly sacked after the announcement. For example, in response to that report, Kuwait Airlines has grounded seven Pakistani Pilots and 56 engineers.
This is a time to reflect on what is happening in the country. Is any certificate genuine anymore?
Indeed, the credibility of the country’s educational institutions have suddenly been brought into sharp focus, and quite rightly so. We are not a country operating in a vacuum; we interact with most other countries, it is an inter-connected world……are we going to rise up to the challenge of universally acceptable qualifications, or are we going to compromise and do our own thing solely?
Raise your voice, open your eyes and remove your finger from your lips because in a democratic world you must speak, you must be heard.