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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has been requested to direct Prime Minister Imran Khan to remove Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Minister for Aviation, from the Cabinet for making an "irresponsible speech", which is "damaging" for the airlines of the country.

Tariq Asad, who has filed a petition under Article 199 of the Constitution, also prayed before the IHC, to constitute one-man judicial commission to probe the matter, so that a formal enquiry be made under his supervision in a transparent manner to avoid "political" victimisation of pilots, and to reach the truth as suggested by the president of Pakistan Air Line Pilots' Association (PALPA).

He further prayed that the Election Commission of Pakistan be asked to disqualify Sarwar Khan under Article 63 (2) of the Constitution.

Tariq Asad in his petition made federation through federal secretary Aviation Division, the prime minister, the speaker National Assembly, the Election Commission of Pakistan, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, the Federal Minister for Aviation Division, the Civil Aviation Authority through its secretary as respondents.

The petitioner stated that the minister, while addressing in the National Assembly said more than 30 percent of civilian pilots in Pakistan possess fake licenses and are not qualified to fly and '262 pilots in the country did not take the exam themselves and had paid someone else to sit it on their behalf.'

There are 860 Pakistani pilots of which 753 are serving for Pakistani airlines, while 107 for foreign airline companies, he added.

Tariq Asad contended that Sarwar Khan is incapable, irresponsible and reckless to have alleged and declared that 30 percent of the pilots of Pakistan, i.e., 262 pilots out of 860 are in possession of dubious licenses having fake degrees.

The petitioner said that without holding any enquiry and investigation, all the pilots of Pakistan have become suspicious because of minister's allegation, and the airlines of foreign countries are firing them without distinguishing whether they are holding genuine or fake license.

The petitioner said that according to media reports, the Kuwait Airlines has sacked seven pilots, and 56 engineers with immediate effect. Vietnam has also fired 20 Pakistani pilots in response to the Aviation Minister's statement.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020