Probe underway into PIA plane crash

No official intimation about narcotic recovery from PIA plane: Adviser

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Aviation Division Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi Wednesday said there was no official intimation about recovery of narcotic from the PIA plane in London.

Addressing a news conference, he said reports were arriving through media that UK authorities had recovered narcotic from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)’s flight PK-785 that had left from Islamabad for London on May 15.

“I am extremely concerned that why UK authorities did not officially share the incident with Pakistan,” he remarked.

He said PIA authorities time and again attempted to get official confirmation from British Border Security and National Crimes Agency authorities, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, he said that Pakistan High Commissioner in London had been asked to approach the British authorities and get actual and official stance on the incident. However, he confirmed that the PIA plane had been thoroughly checked and held its crew for seven to eight hours, but they (UK authorities) did not convey anything to Pakistan officially.

Terming the reported incident ‘regrettable,’ the adviser said it was a matter of Pakistan’s dignity and vowed to take the case to its logical end.

In the past, he admitted that the national flag carrier had been facing such cases but exemplary punishment was not given to the culprits, adding that PIA had been victim of mismanagement and it needed rigorous reforms.

In the meantime, he said all such cases had been sent to the cold storage will be taken up for their logical conclusion so that the culprits behind any such incident is brought to the book.

“Now, no one will be allowed to use PIA for achieving nefarious designs and bring bad name to Pakistan in turn,” he said.

Abbasi offered the UK to constitute a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the incident and take the case to conclusion, if any contraband had been found from the PIA aircraft. “We will pursue the matter to its end.”

Answering a question, the adviser said right now he was not in position to ‘accept or refute’ the incident unless any information in this regard was not confirmed and shared with Pakistan.

Replying to another question, he said a high level meeting would be convened on Thursday to look into the matter throughly and take necessary action.

He said an inquiry had been ordered under Secretary Aviation Division Irfan Elahi to probe the reported incident in a transparent and impartial manner, for which it had also been decided to include experts from other relevant departments in the investigation. – SAMAA/AGENCIES

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