General

SC orders to remove ex-aviation chief Shujaat Azeem’s name from ECL

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued orders to remove the name of retired captain Shujaat Azeem, former special assistant to prime minister on aviation, from the Exit Control List.
The apex court was hearing a suo motu case on the reported privatisation and poor financial situation of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
Azeem’s lawyer, presenting his arguments before the bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, argued that during his client’s tenure as aviation chief PIA’s losses had reduced by Rs18 billion.
After hearing the arguments, the court ordered that Azeem’s name be removed from the ECL.
The Supreme Court had last month ordered an inquiry against Azeem and directed authorities to place his name on the ECL, after viewing a presentation on massive losses incurred by the country’s flagship carrier.
According to the presentation, PIA had suffered a total loss of Rs360 billion since 2008. Among the reasons cited for the losses were the airline spending more than its revenue, being under political influence, packages and association policy.
Ban on recruitment until SC verdict
The Supreme Court, while hearing a suo motu case on the use of the Markhor logo on PIA planes in place of the national flag, banned recruitment of new pilots until the court announced its verdict in the case.
The apex court also ordered the auditor-general of Pakistan to conduct a special audit of the airline for the past decade. “Improve the bathroom conditions instead of using pictures of the Markhor,” Chief Justice Nisar remarked, adding that favoritism had harmed the institution.
On May 13, the Supreme Court had temporarily barred PIA from using the Markhor logo on the tail of its planes instead of the national flag. The national carrier earlier this year had decided to revamp its aircrafts’ exterior to highlight its commitment to the preservation of Pakistan’s national animal.