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PIA privatization: Bullet does not solve problem: Imran

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KARACHI: (APS)FEB 6,2016 – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has on Saturday demanded the resumption of talks between government and Pakistan International Airline’s (PIA) protesting allies after the abolition of Services Act. He also demanded forming a judicial commission for investigating the murders of PTI employees during the protest, reported APS News.

 According to details, PTI Chairman arrived in Karachi today to show solidarity with the protesting employees of PIA. He demanded from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to immediately abolish Services Act and start talks with the employees.

Imran Khan demanded the investigation of PIA employees’ murder during the protest by a judicial commission and said that the four missing employees must immediately be recovered. He added that bullets can never solve any problems.

“Government should address the concerns of the employees. Democracies don’t work with sticks and guns”, Imran said. He also prayed for the deceased PIA employees on this occasion.

Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (Palpa) president Aamir Hashmi has said that the personnel could resume services if government provides security as the body is not in favour of disruption of flight operations, APS reported Saturday.

While talking to media, Hashmi said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is already running in losses while passengers due to the strike.

Hashmi said that majority of the pilots are in favour of resumption of their duties. He said that Palpa had joined strike after Pakistan International Airlines employees were tortured, baton charged and water cannoned.

Executive committee of the pilots’ association has revolted against president Hashmi’s statement.

On the other hand, Joint Action Committee (JAC) will announce its next strategy today.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) intervened the matter and termed Palpa’s compartmentalization a conspiracy to ease the pressure developed on the government. Committee’s chairman said that the strike would continue until workers’ demands are met.

Protesters have warned the Palpa leadership of severe consequences if it remains absent in protests against the government.

The committee further stated that next course of strategy would be announced after today’s round of talks. Privatization commission’s Chairman Muhammad Zubair and JAC Chairman Captain Sohail Baloch had conversed on a phone call on February 5.

The dialogue did not bear any fruit as the rift sustained.

Another 30 international and domestic flights were cancelled on the fifth consecutive day of strike today. Dozens of flights are cancelled everyday extending losses of the national airline above billions of Rupees.

On the other hand, a case has been registered today against unidentified miscreants for two killings during PIA employees’ protest on February 2.

On Tuesday, two workers of the protesting company were killed as they rallied towards Jinnah terminal in Karachi despite counter measures by the law enforcement agencies.

Rangers and Sindh Police personnel were deployed at the protesting site to contain the mob and deter their movement. The security personnel baton charged and used water cannon to disperse the protesters.

Allegedly an unidentified man opened fire during the march injuring two persons who succumbed to wounds later while under treatment in a local hospital.

Law enforcement agencies stated that security personnel were not ordered to resort to firing and they did not. Rangers released a footage of the culprit who allegedly opened fire. The paramilitary force has requested the people to help identify the miscreant.

The incident apparently gave opposition parties another reason to lash out at the government. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced solidarity with the protesters and vowed to launch protest in this regard.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly (NA) Khursheed Shah criticised the government for torturing the people who reserve the right to protest.

Employees of the national airline launched an extensive protest after the government put privatization of the company on its charts.

The government aims at privatizing the company in 2016.

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