Sunday Jul 21, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) own leader, Jahangir Khan Tareen, has joined those Pakistanis who were angered by the new airport baggage-wrapping policy, which the country's civil aviation watchdog announced through a notification.
In a tweet, Tareen wrote: "Just came across a very illogical notification issued by the CAA. Forcing passengers to wrap their luggage is not on.
"People should have the right to decide whether they want their luggage wrapped or not. The notification should be withdrawn asap," he added.
Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the watchdog, earlier ordered all air travellers to have their checked baggage shrink-wrapped, drawing scorn and criticism from frequent flyers and environmentalists.
CAA Director-General Shahrukh Nusrat explained on Sunday that wrapping baggage, being done for "safety" purposes, was "mandatory". Passengers would have to pay 50 rupees (about US$0.31) per bag for the wrapping, Nusrat said in a statement.
"For this purpose, new plastic-wrapping machines are being installed on an urgent basis," he added.
Pakistan's frequent flyers cast scorn on the edict, suggesting it had been introduced to enrich an unnamed company tasked with doing the wrapping.
"What is the logic for this requirement ...if this isn't legalized corruption," one angry traveller tweeted.
Another social media critic, Asif Nawaz Shah, called the new policy a "corrupt profit-making endeavour".
Others suggested the quantity of plastic that would be needed was wasteful.
"Why is the #CAA destroying the #environment," tweeted Ayesha Tammy Haq, a lawyer and broadcast journalist.
Luggage-wrapping machines are a feature at many airports in Pakistan — and elsewhere in the world — but are usually used by passengers to prevent theft by light-fingered baggage handlers.