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Tuesday May 26 2020
Web Desk

Government promises impartial probe of PIA plane crash

Web Desk
Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah meeting father of the PIA pilot who lost live in Karachi plane crash. Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan.

The government has assured the family of late PIA pilot Sajjad Gul of a “transparent inquiry” into the tragedy after his father raised doubts on the probe being conducted by the airline.

Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah on Tuesday met with the father of the deceased PIA official and said that a transparent investigation will be conducted into Karachi plane crash as per the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, he made the remarks during his visit to the residence of the pilot in Lahore where he condoled with the bereaved family and offered fateha for the departed soul.

“The country lost national assets in the form of precious lives in the plane crash, Ijaz Shah said, adding, “the death of Captain Sajjad Gul is a major loss not only to the PIA but the entire country.”

Read also: Violation of multiple SoPs led to fatal PIA plane crash

On Monday, the father of the PIA pilot had said he does not have "an ounce of faith" in the airline's inquiry into the tragic plane crash which left 97 dead — including his son.

Addressing a media briefing alongside Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Gul Muhammad Bhatti said it "pains him to say that the PIA's top hierarchy itself is leaking bits of the inquiry report and blaming people left and right for negligence".

He said that they (PIA) are "not trustworthy people" and are "not fit to conduct an inquiry".

"Those people are not professional and are not good people.

"Just one day prior you called him a national hero.

"He has logged in 17,000 hours. He is the only pilot to have completed 1,000 hours in a year [...] he is a thorough professional," said the aggrieved father.

Bhatti said that he has faith, however, in the assurances given by the governor who has said he "stands with him" and in the prime minister.

He said no remarks must be made until the black box's contents come forward and he will comment "if justice is not done".

Read also: Airbus technical team kicks off Karachi plane crash probe

The team of renowned plane manufacturing company, Airbus, arrived in Pakistan Tuesday to investigate the recent crash of one of its own manufactured aircraft in Karachi.

Sindh seeks new inquiry board

Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani on Tuesday expressed lack of trust on the inquiry panel investigating the PIA plane crash.

The minister asked the federal government to disband the probe body and constitute an impartial investigating committee and include members from the pilot's international organisation and PALPA.

“We have objection on the inquiry board.”

In an indirect reference to the PIA pilot, Saeed Ghani said those who lost their lives are now being held responsible for the crash.

“Sindh Building Control Authority should be included in the inquiry but the permission for the construction of buildings around the airport is given by the Civil Aviation Authority, it should also be questioned.”

Inquiry board

The aviation ministry constituted a four-member panel to investigate the incident soon after the tragedy.

Air Commodore Muhammad Usman Ghani, President Aircraft Accident and Investigation Board (AAIB), is the president of the committee while Wing Commander Malik Muhammad Imran, Additional Director Technical Investigation AAIB, Group Captain Touqeer, Operations Investigator, Pakistan Air Force Safety Board, Kamra, and Nasir Majeed, Joint Director, ATC Operations, AAIB, are the members of the committee.

The investigation team shall exercise powers conferred by Section 3 and 4, Rules 272 to 275 of Civil Aviation Rules, 1994 and furnish its report to this division within the shortest possible time.

However, a preliminary statement shall be issued within one month from the date of the incident.