*Takes to task government for inept handling of PIA issues
Islamabad February 3, 2016: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned the “brutal killing of two PIA employees” and called for “unmasking and punishing in accordance with the law the trigger happy personnel responsible for this totally unwarranted and criminal use of force against employees using their legal right of protest against their threatened unemployment”.
In a statement today the former President said that he was profoundly shocked at the killing of PIA employees in what is alleged to be straight firing saying that those responsible for it must not go unpunished.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted the former President as also warning that the people will not permit cover up of the incident a la Model Town Lahore incident sometime back that resulted in the killing of 14 innocent people. The PPP will not permit any cover up, he said.
The incident has exposed the government’s inept handling, sheer panic and knee jerk response resulting in miserable failure in handling the PIA issues, he said.
The double speak of the federal ministers on privatization, on finding ‘strategic investor’, invoking the Essential Services Act to browbeat the workers and the aviation advisor continuing to work despite having been restrained by the Supreme Court raise serious questions and falsify the claims to transform the national airline from a loss making state enterprise into a viable commercial entity.
Resorting to gun fire at the airport when aircraft with hundreds of passengers were circling overhead is stupid and dangerous. The sheer stupidity and panic of the government is as appalling as it is unpardonable, the former President said.
No doubt, that with accumulated losses of nearly 300 billion rupees threatening national economy the PIA is in a serious mess and needs to be reformed, he said.
The threat to national economy from the mess of over 500 billion circular debt also needs to be addressed, he said.
Despite sitting on windfall gain of nearly 7 billion dollars due to massive fall in petroleum prices the government’s inability to turn around and reform loss making units with skill and confidence is pathetic, the former President said.
The former President also prayed for those killed and offered sincere condolences to the bereaved families.