In response to a probe into a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash last month, PIA announced it will ground 141 pilots on charges of obtaining “fake” pilot licenses.
According to the reports, many pilots possessing fake licenses are associated with Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) which brings up fingers and a big question mark on PALPA’s own operations. Senior PALPA officials, including their spokesperson Captain Qasim Qadir, were in the list of suspected pilots carrying dubious licenses.
PALPA has now been spreading some backdated letters saying that the entire syllabus for Airline Transport Pilots License (ATPL) was fallacious. Furthermore, in their letters, the pilots association has raised question marks on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by saying that ‘there is NOT a single qualified instructor available for such ATPL syllabus’.
On April 4, 2014, the pilots union requested the Aviation Division to consider simplifying the process and make them easy for the pilots. In another letter, PALPA requested the Aviation Division to ‘simplify’ the process to obtain licenses.
This is a true reflection of the dirty politics that thrives on building false narratives and getting away with blue murder in broad daylight by making the whole system questionable. PALPA continues with its age-old black and under-the-table dealings resulting Pakistan its reputation.
Moreover, associations like PALPA formed pressure groups to enforce their illegitimate demands on the administration without any constitutional status. PALPA has been engaging in dirty politics by blackmailing the PIA management and coercing them into stopping flights aimed at bringing back the citizens stranded abroad amid COVID-19.
It is nothing but a sorry state that warrants some deep soul searching if PALPA is running rogue at this crucial juncture or there is something much more sinister at play here.
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