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Thread: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

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  1. #1
    Member Tari's Avatar
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    Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees



    KARACHI: In a bid to disperse protesting Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees at Jinnah Terminal, security personnel resorted to baton-charging and using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas shells on Tuesday, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for implementation of the Essential Services Act.

    Pakistan Airlines Cabin Crew Association President and JAC spokesman Nasrullah Khan earlier told Dawn.com that the strike would proceed as the government had not accepted the body's four-point agenda.

    Explore: PIA standoff: Govt ups the ante by banning union activity

    Security personnel baton-charged protesters at Jinnah Terminal Karachi. ─ DawnNews

    A heavy contingent of Rangers and police personnel were deployed at the site to prevent protesters from entering the cargo gate and moving onto Jinnah Avenue, DawnNews reported.

    Television footage showed security personnel fire tear gas shells and water cannons at protesters as they attempted to force their way into the cargo gate.

    Rangers and police personnel have been deployed at the site. ─ DawnNews

    An injured protester Inayat Raza, who sustained a bullet wound in his chest during the protest, succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital. It is unclear who shot him. Raza was a member of PIA's engineering department.

    Deputy Inspector General East Kamran Fazal said bullet casings were collected to ascertain who opened fire on the protesters. He claimed the bullets were not fired by policemen. "We instructed our personnel not to handle the protesters violently. We are trying to find out who initiated the clash," he said.

    "No Rangers personnel has fired to control the protest at Jinnah Terminal today," Rangers Public Relations Officer said in an official statement.

    At least three other people, including a DawnNews cameraman, were injured during the protest, as security officials also dispersed journalists and media personnel covering the incident, DawnNews reported.

    Read: The big debate: to sell or not to sell PIA

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1236781/pia...-privatisation

  2. #2
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Peoples livelihoods at stake. Hence overreacting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkling View Post
    Peoples livelihoods at stake. Hence overreacting.
    People have been killed today because of this. RIP

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    Senior Member ArshadK's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    I just don't understand why it's got this bad

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    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by ArshadK View Post
    I just don't understand why it's got this bad
    PIA is haemorrhaging money. It cant go on.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Some of the staff striking know they will never hols a job down anywhere else.

  7. #7
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Let PIA close down and up a new airline as a separate legal entity. PIA can sell it a assets, rights abs slots to the new airline. The new airline can selectively recruit from PIA.

    Then the government and employees of PIA can sort out their problems while the new airline operates normally and without the baggage of its past.
    The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to sparkling For This Useful Post: Fassi,NazamKhan,Tari


  8. #8
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkling View Post
    Let PIA close down and up a new airline as a separate legal entity. PIA can sell it a assets, rights abs slots to the new airline. The new airline can selectively recruit from PIA.

    Then the government and employees of PIA can sort out their problems while the new airline operates normally and without the baggage of its past.
    Something drastic needs to be done asap

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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    PIA finalises agreement with Airblue, Shaheen Air to fly affected passengers



    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has reached an agreement with local private carriers, Airblue and Shaheen Air, to fly PIA passengers with confirmed tickets as the national flag carrier's flight operations remain suspended against the government's proposed plan to privatise the organisation.

    Passengers can contact PIA service counters at airports to convert their tickets to those of the private airlines, said a press release.

    The service however, will facilitate passengers booked to travel to Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Dubai, Muscat, Jeddah and Riyadh only, according to the statement.

    As for passengers holding PIA confirmed tickets for other international destinations, the statement said, they can contact PIA staff in their respective countries to have their tickets converted for travel "in various international airlines".

    The airline is also negotiating with Etihad Airways and Turkish Airlines to facilitate passengers going to and coming from Europe, America and Canada, a PIA spokesman earlier told Dawn.

    PIA management has also arranged four Boeing 747 jumbo planes to bring back hundreds of Pakistani pilgrims stranded in Jeddah because of cancellation of PIA flights.

    The cash-strapped airline has lost nearly Rs1.8 billion, according to a spokesperson, since the announcement of the strike.

    Over 150 PIA flights have been cancelled in past three days during the strike.

  10. #10
    Member NazamKhan's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by sparkling View Post
    Let PIA close down and up a new airline as a separate legal entity. PIA can sell it a assets, rights abs slots to the new airline. The new airline can selectively recruit from PIA.

    Then the government and employees of PIA can sort out their problems while the new airline operates normally and without the baggage of its past.
    Getting rid of the dead wood is the key

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Pakistan airline strike grounds passengers across country

    KARACHI:
    Major Pakistan airports remained crippled by industrial action Friday as a strike by employees of the national flag carrier against plans to privatise the airline entered its fourth day.

    All of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) foreign and domestic flights were suspended Friday with thousands of passengers, including Pakistani domestic workers trying to fly to the Middle East, stranded at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport and other key hubs.

    Plan drawn up for new airline: official

    “My visa is about to expire in the next three days and I have to reach Dubai before that but here I am stuck at the airport,” Sualma Jia, who works at a hotel in Dubai, told AFP in Karachi.

    She said she was not even able to retrieve her luggage from the airline.

    “My future is at stake here, I tried a few private airlines but they have raised their fares by almost three times,” she said.

    PIA spokesperson Danial Hassan Gillani said agreements had been reached with rival airlines to fly all domestic and international passengers, including dozens of pilgrims heading for Saudi Arabia who held a protest after their flight was cancelled.

    Airfares take off when PIA doesn’t

    However, passengers must pay any price increase and the backlog is expected to take days to clear, with no end in sight to the industrial action.

    Earlier this week, two protesting airline employees were shot dead and several more wounded at Karachi’s international airport when clashes broke out between security forces and staff, though authorities denied opening fire.

    The strike continues despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s warning the demonstration was illegal and those taking part could face up to a year in prison under a law that restricts union activity in state-administered sectors.


    In December, Islamabad announced it would complete the partial sale of the carrier by July, following years of crushing losses and mismanagement that have battered the airline’s reputation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wattan's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Efforts under way to defuse PIA crisis

    KARACHI/RAWALPINDI: As suspension of the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight operations entered the fourth day on Friday because of strike by employees against the airline’s proposed privatisation, there were signs of efforts to defuse the situation when talks between the government and leaders of the agitating workers began late in the night.

    The talks were held after Minister of State/Chairman Privatisation Com*mission Mohammad Zubair landed in Karachi and invited the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of PIA employees to his DHA residence. Though both sides called the talks “meaningful”, the committee vowed to continue protest and keep flight operations suspended till a satisfactory agreement was reached with the government.

    “We had a very good discussion tonight and we hope to continue that tomorrow [Saturday] as well,” Mr Zubair told reporters after the talks. “We have heard them [Joint Action Committee] and would look into their concerns and demands. Nothing is finalised yet, but there is no deadlock. We both agreed to move in a way that benefits the airline and its employees and hope to keep the same spirit tomorrow as well.”

    But Captain Sohail Baloch of the Joint Action Committee said the flight operations would remain suspended, but agreed that the talks with the minister were positive and moving forward.

    “It’s a good sign I think. I request that speculations should be avoided till we reach an agreement through talks. We would keep the flight operations suspended, but at the same time talks would continue to be held with the government. We have also demanded the recovery of four JAC missing leaders,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the government managed to bring home pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia for a few days through a foreign airline.

    Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan is scheduled to arrive in Karachi on Saturday morning. He will meet the PIA workers and meet relatives of the deceased employees to offer condolence.

    Talking to Dawn, Chakar Shah of the JAC said that a delegation of workers led by Capt Sohail Baloch had held a meeting with Sindh Rangers Director General Maj Gen Bilal Akber in connection with the killing of two employees and an investigation launched by the paramilitary force.

    According to Mr Shah, the Rangers chief assured the workers that the inquiry being conducted by a senior official of the paramilitary force would be transparent and those found responsible would be brought to book.

    He said the workers had expressed full confidence in the paramilitary force and its inquiry and assured the Rangers chief that they would extend all assistance and cooperation for early completion of the investigation.

    Mr Shah said the workers continued their sit-in outside the PIA head office. He said efforts were also being made to register an FIR at the airport police station over the killing of two PIA employees.

    About the pilgrims who were stranded in Saudi Arabia, a PIA spokesperson said two special aircraft of Saudi Airlines had brought over 700 pilgrims to Islamabad and Karachi on Friday noon and carried the same number of pilgrims on the return journey to Saudi Arabia in the evening.

    Another four aircraft of Saudi Airlines have been arranged for flight operations between Pakistan and the kingdom till Feb 8.

    The spokesperson said that all PIA tickets which could not be utilised during strike days would be refunded without any charges when normal operations resumed.

    AIRPORT PASSES: In view of the strike, the Airport Security Force has cancelled entry passes of PIA employees at all airports of the country. The passes would be re-issued after the strike, in consultation with the PIA management, the spokesperson said.

    In Rawalpindi, the protesting PIA employees closed one side of the road outside the airport and held a sit-in. They installed loudspeakers and their union’s flags.

    The protesters were led by Peoples Unity of PIA Employees Union president Ramzan Laghari and general secretary Suhail Bukhtiyar, Air League of Employees Union (CBA) general secretary Zaigham Sajjad Kiyani, Malik Nasir Awan of Insaf Workers Front and PIA Employees Association president Abdul Mateen Abbasi.

    The workers chanted slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Privatisation Commission Chairman Mohammad Zubair and other ministers.

    Awami National Party’s senators expressed their party’s solidarity with the PIA employees.

    Addressing the protesters, Afrasiyab Khattak, Zahid Khan and Bushra Gohar condemned the attack on the airline’s employees in Karachi and called for a judicial inquiry into the killing of two employees.

    They said they had opposed the bill of privatisation of PIA in the Senate and would do it again. “The ANP is standing by the protesting PIA workers,” Mr Khattak said.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Palpa withdraws from PIA strike, pilots asked to resume duties

    KARACHI: The Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (Palpa) announced its withdrawal from the strike against government's proposed plan to privatise the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Saturday, with the organisation head directing pilots to resume their duties.

    "At least 410 out of 430 pilots in Palpa are in favour of resumption of flight operations," said Palpa President Amir Hashmi, while speaking to DawnNews.

    Hashmi said they were a part of the protest from the beginning but never supported the idea of a complete strike "which can have serious consequences on an airline which is already sinking".

    "Pilots are part of a professional body ... we are not a political party," he said, adding that the PIA strike had turned into a political arena.

    Hashmi said Palpa stopped flight operations only when "water cannons, baton charge and marches became part of the protest".

    "It was not possible to continue flight operations at a time when the situation was so charged."

    The pilots community opposes privatisation because the they think PIA can continue to function if "apt professionals manage it", Hashmi said.

    PIA's flight operations remain suspended on Saturday, when the country-wide strike entered its fifth consecutive day, with the national flag carrier incurring an estimated loss of over Rs2 billion since the announcement of strike.

    Privatisation of PIA
    The National Assembly on January 21 witnessed the passage of six bills, including one to convert the national flag carrier into a public limited company.

    Under the bill, Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) is to be converted into a public limited company as Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited (PIACL).

    The government plans to split the ailing national flag carrier PIA into two companies and sell the control of its core business to a global airline, but the opposition to the sell-off has been intense.

    But representatives of PIA employees announced on Sunday their opposition to the government's privatisation plan, saying they would continue their strike and bring flight operations to a halt from Tuesday if their demands are not met.

  14. #14
    Member NazamKhan's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    As if the economy of Pakistan isn't screwed up enough. This doesn't help

  15. #15
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    PTI protesters against PIA privatisation face traders’ wrath

    ISLAMABAD: A large number of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders and workers gathered at Aabpara Chowk to protest against the privatisation of PIA on Saturday afternoon. However, they had to disperse soon after a group of traders confronted them with chants of slogans demanding payment of dues for tents and chairs taken on rent by the party during its sit-in in the capital in 2014.

    The PTI workers dispersed within half an hour but the traders continued chanting slogans against non-payment of their bills and seeking ‘Insaf’ (justice) from Imran Khan.

    The PTI had announced to hold the protest at 3pm. A large number of workers initially gathered in front of the PTI office at Embassy R oad and at around 3:40pm started moving to Aabpara. But the traders, who were holding placards and banners, had reached the spot before the arrival of the PTI workers.

    Traders chant slogans against PTI for not clearing their bills for tents, chairs etc., used during 2014 sit-in
    Chaudhry Ishtiaq Ahmed, who runs United Tent Service in Aabpara market, told Dawn that he provided chairs, carpets, tents and other items for the sit-in in August 2014 which continued till December 16.

    “PTI workers Waqar Abbasi, Amir Mughal and Shoaib Siddiqui remained in touch with me and promised that party general secretary Jahangir Khan Tareen would pay the bill. However, out of the total Rs9 million bill, the PTI paid only Rs4.4 million and Rs4.6 million are still unpaid.”

    He said for the last over one year, he had been meeting office-bearers of the party for the recovery of the bill. “As Imran Khan believes in sit-ins, I and my workers have been holding a sit-in in front of his residence in Banigala for 62 days.”

    He said four to six people remained in the sit-in round the clock and on many occasions they stopped the vehicle of Imran Khan but every time he promised to look into the matter.

    Mr Chaudhry said a number of items provided for the sit-in got broken during the shelling on the participants of the sit-in. Some of the goods were stolen and others were shifted to the central secretariat of the PTI and never returned, he claimed.

    However, an office-bearer of the PTI on the condition of anonymity said the traders were blackmailing the party.

    “We have paid almost Rs5 million, which was more than even the worth of the goods provided for the sit-in. But the traders are still demanding the rent. We have negotiated with them many times and reached the conclusion that their demand is unjustified,” he said.

    “The PTI believes in justice but it also takes a stance against blackmailing. So we are clear that we will not pay them a single rupee,” he said.

    Addressing the protesters, PTI central leader Saifullah Niazi said PIA should not be privatised, adding the PTI would stand by the workers of the national flag carrier.

    “Unfortunately, the rulers have become used to killing citizens. They killed people in Model Town Lahore and in Islamabad during the sit-in in August 2014,” he said.

    In the Rawalpindi city, the PTI workers and supporters brought out a rally from Saddar to Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club near Liaquat Bagh. More than 100 vehicles and over 60 motorcycles participated in the rally.

    The protesters were carrying placards inscribed with anti-government slogans and chanting slogans in favour of the PIA employees.

    Speaking on the occasion, local PTI leader Zahid Kazmi, who led the rally, said the PML-N government was wasting taxpayers’ money on orange train and metro bus projects instead of improving national organisations such as PIA and Pakistan Railways. He alleged that the ruling party leaders were minting money through commissions by launching such mega projects.

    He said poor workmanship on the metro bus route in Rawalpindi and Islamabad was exposed within six months and the commissioner Rawalpindi and Hanif Abbasi had to ask the contractors to improve the quality of work at different sites.

    “The PML-N leaders did not pass the benefit of reduction in the petroleum prices at the international market to the citizens. The government is getting fuel at lower prices and providing it to the people at double and triple prices just to make money instead of imposing taxes on industrialists and businessmen.”

    He said the PTI would not allow the government to sell the PIA to any international firm as most of the firms were working in collaboration with the Sharif brothers and their business partners.

    However, the protest rally exposed the inner politics of the PTI in the city as the party’s local members of the Punjab Assembly did not attend it.

    “MPA Rashid Hafeez and I were asked to join the protest in Islamabad so we had gone there,” MPA Arif Abbasi told Dawn.

    He said the members made it sure that all the party workers attended the protest in the garrison city. He said the party’s show in both the cities was impressive.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    PTI are way off the mark with this.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    PTI are way off the mark with this.
    IK is really creating havoc with this one.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Things should start returning to normal by tomorrow

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wattan's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    PIA head offices in Islamabad, Karachi reopen as flights 'partially' resume

    KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) head offices in Karachi and Islamabad reopened Monday, following 'partial resumption' of flight operations at various international airports across Pakistan, PIA spokesman Daniyal Gillani said.

    PIA flight operations partially resumed at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport on Monday, where flight PK 732 arrived at 1:50pm ─ nearly 12 hours later, however, than its scheduled arrival time ─ carrying pilgrims from Jeddah.

    After remaining suspended for six days because of the employees’ strike, PIA flight operations partially resumed on Sunday when the airline’s two Boeing aircraft brought home 725 pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia.

    Two more planes took off from Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport for Jeddah on Sunday night to bring back the remaining pilgrims. Another flight (PK-211) left for Dubai in the evening.

    The airline’s ATR flight with four people on board landed at the Gilgit airport and returned to Islamabad with the passengers stranded there. One domestic and four international flights were operated from Lahore, but operations from other airports of the country could not resume.

    However, PIA employees voiced concerns that proper safety protocol had not been followed to put the planes in the air.

    PIA engineers warned the management against operating flights without ensuring the aircraft’s maintenance protocols as it may cause serious safety hazards.

    The Society of Aircraft Engineers of Pakistan said: “The PIA management is forcing the engineers to release the aircraft without accomplishment of the prerequisites which are mandatory as per ICAO and PCAA regulations. The safety of passengers and the aircraft itself is being jeopardised. Inspections and components’ replacement issues are being waived off by PCAA Pakistan under pressure by the government officials,”
    PIA employees get warning letter

    On Sunday night, a warning letter about the application of the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952, was delivered to striking employees to make them aware that their strike was illegal, the PIA spokesman said.

    The employees protesting against the government move to privatise the national flag carrier had rejected the Act after it was imposed on Feb 2, and threatened to bring the flight operations to a standstill.

    The letter says the law envisages serious penalties, including dismissal from service and imprisonment for a maximum period of one year along with a fine, for the protesting employees. The Act has been imposed for six months.

    The employees were advised in the letter to refrain from indulging in any activity tantamount to an offence under the Act, failing which they might become liable for prosecution in court, besides facing disciplinary action under the corporation’s rules.
    'Missing' employees return

    Early Monday morning, four missing members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of PIA employees were released by unidentified individuals in various parts of Karachi.

    The four employees ─ JAC leader and People's Unity (PU) President Hidayatullah Khan, PU Vice President Zameer Chandio, Saifullah and Mansoor Dhalwan ─ went missing last Wednesday.

    During a protest against the proposed privatisation of the national flag carrier, JAC Chairman Capt. Sohail Baloch on Sunday warned the government that PIA employees would take out a rally from the PIA head office at the Old Terminal to the Jinnah Terminal to press their demand for the recovery of their four missing colleagues.

    "The march was put off as our colleagues have returned," JAC Spokesman Nasrullah Khan told Dawn.com, but PIA employees will continue to protest outside all major airports until acceptance of their demands, he said.

    Speaking to DawnNews, Hidayatullah said the four men had been detained for six days. "We didn't know where they were taking us at night," he said, as their eyes had been covered throughout. "They left us in various parts of the city... We don't know what agency they are from," he said of the people who detained him along with his colleagues.

    The four employees were released by unidentified men, DawnNews reported. The men were interrogated during their detention, but not subjected to torture, sources claim.

    The JAC spokesman confirmed the employees had been released, but was also unable to provide any details on who had detained them and why.

    Nasrullah said a day after the four went missing, "They were part of our protest and played a key role in mobilising workers. They returned home last night, but today [Wednesday] we are not aware about their whereabouts."

    He earlier told Dawn.com that a petition had been filed in the Sindh High Court regarding the disappearance of the protesters. No one was named in the petition, he said.
    Privatisation of PIA

    The National Assembly on January 21 witnessed the passage of six bills, including one to convert the national flag carrier into a public limited company.

    Under the bill, Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) is to be converted into a public limited company as Pakistan International Airlines Company Limited (PIACL).

    The government plans to split the ailing national flag carrier PIA into two companies and sell the control of its core business to a global airline, but the opposition to the sell-off has been intense.

    Although the government has assured PIA employees that no one will be laid off after privatisation, PIA employees insist the government accept their four-point agenda and put off privatisation.

  20. #20
    Member Latif's Avatar
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    Re: Police/Rangers Clash With Protesting PIA Employees

    Normal service resumed

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