ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday reserved verdict on a petition seeking the dismissal of Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up the petition that called for a judicial commission to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the issue of dubious licences by pilots.
The petition was filed by Advocate Tariq Asad who argued that the aviation minister gave irresponsible statements regarding pilots of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) which tarnished the image of the nation.
The petitioner said PIA flights were banned in Europe for six months due to the minister’s remarks, adding that action should have taken in secret against those with fake licenses.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah reserved verdict over the maintainability of the petition and said that a detailed judgment will be issued later.
READ MORE: EU Air Safety Agency suspends PIA’s operation for six months
Earlier on June 26, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had announced that 262 airline pilots, whose credentials may have been falsified, will be immediately grounded. He also revealed that forty percent of the pilots did not even give exams and continued to operate flights.
The aviation minister said that the pilots included 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from Shaheen Airlines while the rest belong to chartered operators or flying clubs.
The European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) ha suspended air operations of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) in Europe for six months, citing the minister’s statement in parliament.
According to a PIA spokesperson, the move follows the grounding of 262 pilots whose licences were termed ‘dubious’ by the aviation minister.