Life as a citizen
March 30, 2019
Misplaced patriotism
March 30, 2019

Director General Civil Aviation, 19 Nov 2018
Chairman Pakistan International Airlines,
Director General Airport Security Force.

Dear Sirs,

As a citizen one would like to know how the airport authorities in Pakistan handle misbehaving, law breaking or violent passengers. Across the globe, there are well established standard procedures to handle such unruly situations. The victim, who may be a passenger or a staff member, would call the police on duty and within minutes the aggressor would be whisked away, charged and produced before a court of law.

What happened in Pakistan a few days back when the Tourism Minister of Gilgit Baltistan repeatedly pushed and assaulted a PIA Manager at Islamabad airport was absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. But even more pathetic and pitiable was the spineless silence of the PIA, CAA and ASF who were simply too dumbfounded, scared and servile to handle an ugly situation that involved a ‘minister’.

One sees scores of ASF personnel at the airport but none came forward to apprehend the aggressor. Why did the CAA, the victim or his PIA bosses not call the ASF or the regular police to arrest the assailant or to register a case against him.

It was for the Gilgit Baltistan Government to sack the Tourism minister – for his behaviour, instead of attracting foreigners, could well be the reason why many Pakistanis like to leave the country. The three state institutions, PIA, CAA and ASF primarily responsible to control such unruly situations withdrew and surrendered. The people of Pakistan who wish to see the state organisations performing more effectively are concerned and ashamed of this timidity, cluelessness and cowardice.

Can I request that the three organisations make a public apology for their inability and incompetence to enforce professional standards at airports and to device common and effective strategies to do so in future.

Naeem Sadiq