Stories about PIA

#‎KarachiAirportAttack‬: We learn from history, that we NEVER learn from history

The story developed like a gathering storm. First there was news of a security breach when some armed men cut through the fence from the ‘Fokker gate’ near the Ispahani Hanger, close to the Pehelwah Goth area which had already been cited as a security risk many times. Television audience was just trying to catch its breath over the horror unfolding in Taftan, on the Pak-Iran border where over 23 Shia zaireen lost their lives to a suicide attack, in a manner that has such a familiar, horrible ring to it. As if that breaking news was not heartbreaking enough, news ...

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Will you go back to Pakistan after graduation?

I am often asked by my family and friends in Toronto about whether or not I would want to go back to Pakistan after completing my degree here. This question stimulates a range of mixed emotions in me; I think of a lot of factors ranging from the prevailing security situation to job security, job progression and of course my parents’ expectations from me. However, at the end of the day, I always tell them that I will go back. To this, I often hear people saying, “We will see after two years.” Or “Everybody goes through this patriotic phase, you’ll get over it.” Frankly speaking, ...

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What happened to PIA’s glory days?

A rapid drop in altitude, deafening noise, sheer chaos, emergency alarms going off, doors and walls shuddering violently and people crying out loud! This is not an account of a plane crash. Rather, it’s about a whole airline company coming crashing down; an organisation which has completely lost direction. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), once soaring high in the skies of the aviation industry, has fallen into an abyss of financial and image crisis. So this is an account of our national flag carrier that used to be the nation’s pride; it is about Pakistan International Airlines. I still remember the time when PIA ...

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No accountability, no solutions

As elections approach, political parties have started criticising each other. The temperature is only going to rise in the coming days. From law and order to poor economic indicators, everything is surfacing in fiery speeches. But if one looks closely, the parties conveniently avoid offering solutions. Take the example of the national carrier. Bogged down by accumulated losses of over Rs100 billion, PIA is in a mess. The PPP government changed the airline’s top management more than twice but that did little to lift its fortunes. Even the well-connected managing director Aijaz Haroon was forced to quit by the formidable alliance ...

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Avoiding aviation disasters

On November 18, President Asif Ali Zardari finally woke up and took notice of an emergency landing by a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane and demanded a “comprehensive” report in three days. The organisations that have been asked to submit a report to the president — the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and PIA — are politicised to the core. Through his spokesperson, President Zardari expressed “deep concern over the recurring reports of emergency landings of PIA aircraft mostly due to technical reasons”. Since this is the case and precious lives are at stake, independent people should be appointed to head ...

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The Hajis from our tax money

Dear readers, I would like to share my experience with all of you about my journey back from Jeddah, after performing Hajj, which transpired on our very own national carrier; Pakistan International Airline (PIA). Contrary to our journey there, the way back from the holy land was a bit different. It was different because due to some reason -better known to our tour operator – we were bumped up to the so called VIP flight carrying our royalty (parliamentarians and bureaucrats). The flight got delayed, like any other flight on PIA, but to my utmost relief and disbelief, the seat ...

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Bash thy army the right way

Bashing the military is a favourite past time of the ones who feel they have been enlightened. Following this trend, an increasing number of people want to join this enlightened group, so they have taken to bashing the army too. The tool is a laptop; the location is a cosy house in Defence. The new army bashers however, in my humble view, need to know a thing or two before launching into a gallant bayonet charge. So I have decided to help them out and will now try to explain how to effectively bash the malicious military, or how to ...

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An American in Lahore: Pakistan saved me

About a year and a half ago, I made the decision to move to Pakistan.  Since then, perhaps the most popular question my local friends ask is, “Were you scared to come to Pakistan, because you thought we were all terrorists like the Western media portrays us?” Honestly, no, I was not, and I did not.  Even before coming to Pakistan, I found the notion that all 180 million people residing in Pakistan, the sixth most populous nation in the world, were terrorists or had extremist tendencies completely ridiculous.  I figured that, as in every country, Pakistan had people from ...

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The PIA problem

This article is not written with the intent of defending President Asif Ali Zardari or his party.It aims to illustrate how the hyper personalisation of politics and governance in Pakistan has created unachievable expectations for quick fixes, based on overly simplistic explanations of state failure. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is an illustration of perhaps the biggest disservice the president has done for his country; he allowed himself to become a lightning rod for every explanation of state failure. By explaining the poor performance of the state to the person who occupies the Presidency, we overlook the many structural, underlying and historical reasons that perpetuate state failure. The dominant ...

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Profiling and personal fatwas

We, Pakistanis, are an opinionated lot -that much is certain. But, when criticism turns in to censure then soon enough we see personal fatwa machines, depicting yet another poor prognostic sign for Pakistan. Muslim-Americans fume at being profiled and singled out for scrutiny at airports, but happily join the melee of labeling people based on appearances – a hijabi is purity incarnate and only the morally corrupt wear shorts, don’t you know? Prejudices are transmitted and bolstered by parents and families, and a good number of unfortunate people go through life not examining the outlandish mindset, let alone the fact that they ...

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