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Tuesday Jul 14 2020

Fake licences: SHC dismisses pilot's petition against CAA as non-maintainable

Sindh High Court dismissed pilot Waqar Ahmed's plea. Photo:File 

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday dismissed pilot Waqar Ahmed’s plea against the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as non-maintainable saying the court can not interfere in the inquiry into dubious credentials of pilots.

Ahmed in his petition had stated that he had obtained a licence from the CAA but not associated with the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

During the hearing today Justice Khadim Hussain asked the petitioner how could they allow anyone to fly a plane with a fake license and kill people.

“There is a high-level inquiry underway into this [fake licenses] issue. The Sindh High Court cannot interfere with the investigation at all,” Justice Hussain remarked.

He added that only those pilots will be allowed to resume their duty whose credentials are cleared by the authorities after the investigations.

He further said that the entire nation has become a laughing stock thanks to the fake degrees fiasco.

The judge asked the petitioner to take back the petition else his petition would be rejected along with a fine.

Last month, Pakistan said it would ground 262 airline pilots whose credentials may have been falsified after global airlines body International Air Transport Association said that irregularities found in pilot licences at PIA represent a “serious lapse” in safety controls.

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while presenting an initial investigation report into the PIA plane crash in which 97 people had been killed, had said 40% of the country’s pilots held “dubious licenses”.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also suspended PIA’s authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months.

Malaysia and Vietnam have also temporarily suspended pilots who hold Pakistani licenses and have been employed by their domestic airlines. The United Arab Emirates has requested Pakistan to verify the licenses of the personnel working in the oil-producing country’s airports — pilots, maintenance engineers and flight operations officers.

The UAE had also demanded that Pakistan clarify which of the personnel had fake licenses and who were suspects.