Now Reading: PIA Terminates over 700 Employees with Fake Degrees
Minister of Aviation – Ghulam Sarwar Khan – has recently revealed that the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has terminated over 700 of its employees for having fake degrees. Out of the total of 760 sacked staffers, 17 were the airline’s pilots who were holders of either dubious or flat out fake degrees. The licenses of these fake degree holders were also revoked, Ghulam Sarwar told the reporters in Taxilla.
Previously, Senator Siraj-ul-Haq — the Ameer of Jamat-e-Islami — had raised the question regarding the matter of fake licenses. The aviation ministers stated in a written response to his query that departmental action was already in place against 127 other PIA employees as well. Though, 87 of these employees had been hiding behind stay orders from the courts.
Earlier in the year, following the tragic Karachi plane crash, an investigation was conducted in the country where the local regulars found out that 40% of Pakistani pilots held dubious degrees . In June, it was revealed in the aftermath of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority’s study that 262 of the 860 active Pakistani pilots didn’t even take the pilot exams themselves. The government later fired five officials of the regulatory agency for this lack of regulation as well.
Following this, PIA immediately grounded 150 of its 426 pilots. In early August again, the national airlines revealed that 60 more of its pilots were sacked. 28 of the 60 pilots dismissed were holders of fake credentials while the rest were fired for incompetent behavior or unjustified absence. Within the same time period, two employees were also fired for being involved in corruption within the company.
It is important to note that the process of termination of fake degree holders have been in place since last year. It was initiated when the national flag-carrier had fired more than 400 of its staff members who were charged with possible submission of fake academic documents during their inductions into the airlines.
PIA was so serious on the issue that there were instructions given from the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation to be a bit lenient and to hand down relatively less severe punishments to the staff. Though, the airline flat-out refused to accommodate these instructions at the time and continued to take strict action.
After the afore-mentioned crash though, the airline took a nosedive with various international names blocking it from travelling to and from their member states. So, Prime Minister Imran Khan personally assured the parliament that he would take measures to reform PIA, among other government institutions. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has also promised that a complete restructuring of PIA as an airline fulfilling international standards would be completed by the end of the year.
Hopefully, by cleaning out all the fakes and taking other necessary measures, the airline returns to its former glory and beyond.