Pakistan assembly panel calls for investigation into Karachi plane crash
Months after a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight crashed in Karachi, killing 97 people in its wake, Pakistan’s National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has called for a detailed probe into the mishap.
The committee, in a meeting, observed that the mishap took place despite reported unquestionable airworthiness of the plane and experience of the pilots. It said that reasons should be identified to avoid such incidents in the future.
Aviation Division Secretary Hassan Nasir Jamy told the panel that the inquiry into the crash would be completed within eight to ten days, and a report would be sent to the committee.
The committee was apprised that a 12-member investigation team, including aviation experts, representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), PIA and Boeing and a psychologist had conducted an examination of the aircraft’s debris and recording of the conversation of pilots with the control power in the black box during the course of the probe.
According to the preliminary investigation, airworthiness of the aircraft was unquestionable, weather was favourable and the pilot and co-pilot were experienced. However, there were quite a few deviations by the pilots and the air traffic controller from the prescribed procedures, the committee was informed.
The panel also asked the authorities to pursue the resumption of flights to Europe with European and UK airspace authorities after Europe and UK suspended the entry of PIA flights.
A PIA representative told the committee that the objections of European and UK authorities have been addressed and flights would resume only after getting clearance by European and UK airspace agencies.
The panel was also informed about the fake licenses of PIA pilots or pilots having licenses issued by the CAA.
The committee members noted that none of the CAA officials was held responsible for issuing fake licenses. The panel directed the Aviation Division to complete the inquiry so that action would be taken against officials responsible for issuing dubious licenses.
Member of National Assembly (MNA) Kishwer Zahra presided over the committee meet and was attended by Muhammad Aslam Khan, Uzma Riaz, Rana Iradat Sharif Khan, Shahnaz Saleem Malik, Naeema Mohiuddin Jameeli, Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur, Syed Mehmood Shah and senior officials of the Aviation Division and Airport Security Force.