In another embarrassment for the government of Pakistan, Malaysia has seized an aeroplane of Pakistan International Airline (PIA), the official carrier of Pakistan over ‘non-payment of dues’. In the unprecedented humiliation to Pakistan and its citizens, the aircraft was seized after the passengers boarded on the plane, on the order of a Malaysian court.
“A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking one-sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court. The passengers are being looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have been finalized,” tweeted PIA through its official Twitter handle.
A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking one sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court.
The passengers are being looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have been finalized.
— PIA (@Official_PIA) January 15, 2021
“It is an unacceptable situation and PIA has engaged the support from Government of Pakistan to take up this matter using diplomatic channels,” it added over Malaysia seizing its aircraft.
As per the details coming out in the matter, PIA leased two aircraft, including a Boeing-777, from a Vietnamese company in 2015. The dues to the Vietnamese company are yet to be paid by the Imran government. Given the macroeconomic condition of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, it is very unlikely that it would be able to rescue PIA, which, like Air India, makes losses worth millions of dollars every year.
The Pakistan International Airline has not made any profits in the last 15 years and the company had the liability of around 3.8 billion dollars. The company has more than 14,000 employees, to maintain a fleet of only 30 planes. Being a public sector company, PIA is as inefficient as Air India, but given the fact the Indian government has an expenditure budget of around 30 lakh crore rupees and revenue of 24 lakh crore rupees as of FY 20, it can choose to pay for the losses of Air India as long as it wants.
However, Pakistan is bankrupt and takes money from one country to pay back the loans of another country. The Imran Khan-led government has no financial leeway to pay back for the losses of PIA and pay salary to its 14,000 employees. The company is running on leased planes, and for every plane, the company is not able to pay back.
The Pakistani opposition slammed Imran Khan for embarrassing the country on an international level. “Was the illegal foreign funding sent to Imran with an agenda of destroying the country’s economy, obliterating all businesses, creating mass unemployment, skyrocketing inflation and causing such embarrassment to Pakistan? Was it sent to Imran Khan so that he would declare all degrees of Pakistani pilots illegal to get a blanket ban imposed on the national flag carrier?” said PML-N press secretary Marriam Aurangzeb.
With this move, the Mahathir Mohamad government has also finished Pakistan’s ambitions to create an Islamic triangle with the help of Turkey and Malaysia. Pakistan’s international carrier was previously banned from flying to European Union because its pilots have dubious credentials. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan faces utter humiliation throughout the world on every passing day and now it is only left with China, to which it is becoming a client state.