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Archive for February, 2014

Reviving PIA

To quote my article “Keep PIA flying” (June 20, 2013), “Facing multiple crises simultaneously – most of them man-made – Pakistan’s workforce and institutions remain amazingly resilient. Beset by extraordinary interference over the years, both during military and civilian rule, PIA continues operating thanks to the competence of its core staff, for this miracle one must give credit to PIA’s pilots, its cabin crew and ground engineers, its management and ground staff.” It would seem incongruous to now claim that in the 60s and 70s PIA was one of the best airlines in the world, that happens to be the stark raving truth. Selected on merit its employees were a cut above the rest in all senses of the word, as a corporate entity PIA once a model for others. PIA’s pilots and cabin crews still rate among the best in the world, that its ground engineers and maintenance staff have kept the ageing aircraft flying safely is a tremendous feat by itself.

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Stretching the Truth

Besides the recent dastardly attacks on policemen and Rangers in Karachi, the TTP brutally beheaded 23 Frontier Corps (FC) men in their custody in Afghanistan. Why are we talking to these sadistic murderers when they are not going to stop their atrocities, and more importantly, does their negotiating committee really have the mandate to represent most of the terrorist factions? One does not question TTP’s capability for sporadic violence, particularly against the defenceless, one does question their ability to exercise influence, let alone control, over all the terrorist factions, specially when those with criminal intent far outnumber those with ideological ambitions. They could be telling the truth when they denied the repeated bomb attacks killing and injuring many moviegoers in a Peshawar Cinema.

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