The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) recently foiled a bid to smuggle contraband onboard a London-bound flight after the force recovered about 20kg from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-785 at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) just before its take-off to Heathrow. The ANF found the heroin hidden in different parts of the plane after carrying out a search of the plane before take-off with the help of PIA security staff.
This is not the first incident of its kind, last week Police in the United Kingdom said a ‘quantity of heroin’ was found on board a plane that flew to London from Pakistan. The crew’s passports were temporarily seized. The narcotic was distributed in bundles around different parts of the plane.
A few days before this, a video in which a person seems to be asking questions from a female Chinese passenger about going into the cockpit of a PIA aircraft went viral on social media. Reportedly, the pilot kept the Chinese female passenger in the cockpit between the take-off and landing of the aircraft. The flight was on its way from Tokyo to Beijing. Back in March, the government barred the German chief executive of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from leaving the country due to an investigation into corruption at the loss-making carrier.
These are just a few of the embarrassing incidents that have made the national carrier a laughing stock. Conceding lack of discipline and accountability in Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in the past Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation affairs Sardar Mehtab Abbasi has said that process had already been started for complete restructuring of the national flag carrier.
Before assuming power Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made lofty claims of fixing the national carrier in the shortest possible time. However four-years into the tenure it is obvious that instead of showing any improvement the airline’s decline has become even more serious. Urgent steps must be taken to fix the issues of the national carrier; currently the airline is not just a loss making entity but also a national embarrassment.
The Prime Minister had made lofty claims of fixing the national carrier before assuming power.