Zardari warns govt against hurried privatization of PIA

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (INP): President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Asif Ali Zardari has warned the government against the privatization of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) saying that the mysteriously hurried move on the eve of general elections was motivated not by turning around the national carrier but by making quick buck at public expense.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, Asif Ali Zardari said, “Hurried and thoughtless privatization of the PIA without recourse to Parliament at this time is a crime against the people that must not be allowed; it will not be.”

He also warned the potential buyers to desist from buying the national airline in their own interest warning that they may have to face consequences of being part of a commercial undertaking based on criminal motives.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the former President also directed members of Parliament belonging to the PPP to raise the issue in both the National Assembly and the Senate and expose the malafide intent behind it.

The former President said that the loss making ventures recent undertaken by PIA raised doubts whether these were deliberately designed to increase its liabilities and thereby create justification for its hurried privatization.

Zardari said that during the PPP government international oil prices stood at nearly 150 dollars a barrel which reduced to less than 50 dollars in 2015. Like other airlines this steep fall in international oil prices should have enabled PIA to reduce its losses but instead the losses increased, he said.