Govt fails to convince JAC on resuming PIA flight operations

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KARACHI: Members of the Joint Action Committee of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees, led by Sohail Baloch, called on Privatisation Minister Mohammad Zubair late Friday evening, DawnNews reported.

The meeting was aimed at resolving the deadlock between the government and the protesting PIA employees, and to reach a consensus on resuming the stalled flight operations of the national flag carrier.

However, details of the meeting reveal that the deadlock still prevails as both the parties are not willing to compromise on their respective stance.

Later addressing a joint press conference, Zubair said they have requested the Joint Action Committee to resume the flight operation, considering the troubles faced by the passengers.

On this the chairman of Joint Action Committee sought apology from the passengers but went on to say that “as long as our demands are not met and a decision is not reached, the flight operation will remain suspended”.

Baloch said that talks can go no further until their four ‘missing members’ are released.

Mohammad Zubair had expressed government’s willingness to hold negotiations with protesting PIA employees, said spokesman for the JAC, Nasrullah Khan.

Nasrullah questioned, however, why the minister’s statement was so contradictory to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s who vowed not to bow down due to any “unreasonable and unlawful strike” on Friday.

“There are elements who do not want to see PIA prosper … they want to do politics of personal interests,” the premier said, while addressing a session at Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Kashmir Day.

Nasrullah said JAC would be open to talks with government but “[our demands][5] will remain the same in every case”.

More than 350 flights have been cancelled since [the strike][1] against the government’s proposed plan to privatise the national airline commenced earlier this week.