PM ordering a probe into the ‘role of PIA management in the collapse of national airline’ is good news. However, it would have been far more productive if he had ordered a similar probe into the role of government – the real architect of this devastation. Embarrassing that it may be, the probe must extend to the politicians who extracted huge sums of money to fill the nooks and corners of PIA with an infinitely inept workforce.
PIA is much like the police of Pakistan – created and deployed primarily to serve the personal interests of the rulers, their friends, families and cronies. To expect them to operate efficiently, professionally or for the benefit of the common people is oxymoronic. It took 11 years, 96 complaints and a major shut down for PIA to drop that discriminatory piece of plastic that inscribed special treatment for ‘Parliamentarians’ at the check-in counters of this subservient airline. The fact that the Chairman of PIA despite repeated reminders could not gather the courage to do away with this obsequious and colonial practice speaks volumes about what else he might have been able to accomplish.
There are no cosmetic treatments for a cancer patient. PIA will do itself a favour by cutting down almost half of its employees and some 35% of its leakages. A government that has no clue about the number of gun licenses that it issued or the number of Houbara Bustards that are killed every year by its ‘foreign policy’ guests cannot be expected to run an airline. Liberating PIA and the police from the clutches of the politicians is the essential first step for reform and resurrection of these two organisations.