Palpa withdraws from PIA strike, pilots asked to resume duties

KARACHI: The Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association (Palpa) announced its withdrawal from the strike against government’s proposed plan to privatise the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Saturday, with the organisation head directing pilots to resume their duties.

“At least 410 out of 430 pilots in Palpa are in favour of resumption of flight operations,” said Palpa President Amir Hashmi.

He said PIA pilots are ready to provide their services but they should be provided adequate security as “we are receiving threats from the protesters”.

Hashmi said Palpa members were a part of the protest from the beginning but never supported the idea of a complete strike “which can have serious consequences on an airline which is already sinking”.

“Pilots are part of a professional body … we are not a political party,” he said, adding that the PIA strike had turned into a political arena.

Hashmi said Palpa stopped flight operations only when “water cannons, baton charge and marches became part of the protest”.

“It was not possible to continue flight operations at a time when the situation was so charged.”

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