FIA arrests one out of 262 pilots after eight months

Amraiz Khan

Eight months after the revelation by the aviation minister, the FIA on Friday registered three cases against 40 PIA pilots allegedly holding fake licenses and eight CAA officers of the licensing branch. However, FIA could arrest only six including Abdul Raees Senior Superintendent HR Licensing Branch, PCAA. Muhammad Saqlain Ali Pilot, Khalid Mehmood, Acting Additional Director (Licensing), Faisal Manzoor Ansari, Senior Joint Director, Licensing branch, Asif ul Haq Senior Joint Director, Licensing branch and Muhammad Mehmood Hussain, Additional Director (Licensing). It is worth mentioning here that in June last year Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had said that 262 pilots, out of total 860 in the country, have suspicious flying licenses, who would be grounded immediately. The Minister said there are some pilots, who did not appear in any paper but managed to get the licenses. The minister also pledged to start criminal proceedings against the fake license holder pilots as the government could not allow anyone to put the lives of its citizens at risk. Though this irresponsible statement of the Minister damaged airline and credibility of CAA very badly but on the other hand investigation process was so slow that it took eight months to conclude the allegations.
Corporate Crime Circle Karachi has registered three cases against Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, pilots and private persons.

Complaint was registered on the written complaint lodged by Deputy Director General (Regulatory) Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Pakistan regarding issuance of Commercial Pilot License and Airline Transport Pilot License by the authorities of PCAA on the basis of fake pilot license exams. The cases have been registered against authorities of licensing branch of PCAA, Private person, and accused pilots license exams.

It is worth mentioning here that the exams were conducted on either on public holidays for example Eid Miladun Nabi, Eid Holidays or on week-ends after office hours. Some of the pilots exams were conducted when they were performing domestic/ international flights.
If we recall a case of similar nature of pilot’s fake licenses was emerged in neighboring country India in the year 2011 but there neither matter was taken to Assembly nor were investigations so long.

Rajhistan Anti corruption Board arrested four pilots in a week whose educational credentials were fake. Apart from that Indian investigation agency shortlisted thirteen other pilots for possibly lying about their qualifications. The record of another 4000 pilots was scrutinized but in a professional way no hue and cry was heard at international level.
Action of FIA seems halfhearted since the main thing to be investigated is the CAA officer who briefed Minister Aviation about the fake licenses of 262 pilots.

Minister cannot speak at his own after all any officer was there who briefed minister with wrong figures. Secondly out of 40 pilots against whom FIRs have been registered only one arrested and others have managed to fly abroad are have gone underground. How can they fly abroad when FIA was investigating against them, in high profile cases like this one FIA could place the name of controversial pilots on Exit Control List.

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