Tuesday Jan 21, 2020
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Air Marshal Arshad Malik’s plea seeking the court’s intervention in allowing him to continue as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
The PIA chief had approached the apex court against the Sindh High Court's order which had stopped him from performing his functions as the airliner's CEO.
In today’s hearing, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that PIA was not someone’s private property, and reminded the petitioner that the airline was a national asset.
“We will not allow anyone to play with PIA’s fortune,” remarked Justice Ahmed, and questioned how the national flag carrier was being run.
The chief justice also remarked that a case regarding the appointments in the PIA was already filed as a human rights case.
The apex court while disposing off the petition said that all cases related to the PIA will be merged into a single case. The bench also summoned the record of the pending case in the SHC.
The apex court directed the PIA's board of governors to run the the affairs of the airline.
On December 31, the SHC had barred Malik from discharging his duties as CEO on a petition filed by Safdar Anjum, the general secretary of the airline's Senior Staff Association (SASA).
The petition stated Malik did not fulfill the educational requirements of the post neither did he have any relevant experience for the job.
The court also stopped the airline from transferring, hiring or firing employees. The high court also stopped the PIA from buying or selling assets. The bench said the national flag bearer could not sell assets worth over rupees one crore or make policies.
Before joining the PIA, Malik was serving as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff. He is a graduate of the National Defence University (NDU) and qualified in Air Command and Staff Course from the US.
Malik has served for more than 40 years in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) before he was appointed as the airline's chief executive officer.
He was appointed as PIA chairman on October 11, 2018, by the federal government. On April 2, 2019, he was appointed the national flag carrier’s CEO.