Malaysia suspends Pakistani pilots after license fraud revelation

In this May 22, 2020 file photo, volunteers look for survivors of a Pakistan International Airlines plane that crashed in a residential area of Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan last week grounded almost a third of its pilots after discovering they may have falsified their qualifications. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan, File)
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Updated 03 July 2020

Malaysia suspends Pakistani pilots after license fraud revelation

  • Pakistan last week grounded almost a third of its pilots after discovering they may have falsified their qualifications

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s aviation regulator has temporarily suspended pilots employed by domestic airlines who hold Pakistani licenses, after the government of the south Asian nation revealed that many pilots had dubious qualifications.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) said in a statement on Thursday that the decision came after an evaluation of all foreign pilots in Malaysia. The regulator told Reuters that there are less than 20 Pakistani pilots in the country.
Pakistan last week grounded almost a third of its pilots after discovering they may have falsified their qualifications. Pakistan has a total of 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines.
Global concern has mounted since the announcement, with countries grounding Pakistan pilots and seeking to verify their credentials.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also suspended Pakistan International Airlines’ authorization to fly to the bloc for six months.
CAAM said it is making efforts with its Pakistani counterpart to verify the authenticity of the license holders.
“License holders that are verified as valid by (the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) will be reinstated immediately,” it said.
National carrier Malaysia Airlines said it does not have any Pakistan pilot.


France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

Updated 53 min 16 sec ago

France backs calls for EU sanctions on Turkey

  • Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a ‘double standard’ by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members

JEDDAH: France on Friday backed Cyprus’ calls for the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Turkey if the Turkish government won’t suspend its search for energy reserves in eastern Mediterranean waters where Cyprus and Greece claim exclusive economic rights.

French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune said sanctions should be among the options the 27-member bloc considers employing if Turkey continues to “endanger the security and sovereignty of a member state.”

“But we consider that the union should also be ready to use all the instruments at its disposal, among them one of sanctions, if the situation didn’t evolve positively,” Beaune said after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed “sincere cooperation and concrete progress” in defusing tensions with Greece and Cyprus.

Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey and now analyst at Carnegie Europe, said the resolution reflected the views of a democratically elected parliament from across the bloc. “This is not ‘country X against country Y,’ it is the aggregated view of the European Parliament,” he told Arab News.

EU leaders are set to hold a summit in a few days to discuss how to respond to Turkey prospecting in areas of the sea that Greece and Cyprus insist are only theirs to explore.

Turkey triggered a naval stand-off with NATO ally Greece after dispatching a warship-escorted research vessel in a part of the eastern Mediterranean that Greece says is over its continental shelf. Greece deployed its own warship and naval patrols in response.

Greek and Turkish military officers are also holding talks at NATO headquarters to work out ways of ensuring that any standoff at sea doesn’t descend into open conflict.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey’s withdrawal of its survey ship and warship escorts was a positive step, but that Greece needs to make sure Ankara is sincere.

He said a list of sanctions will be put before EU leaders at next week’s summit and whether they’ll be implemented will depend on Turkey’s actions. “I’m hoping that it won’t become necessary to reach that point,” Dendias said.

Cypriot officials insist the EU shouldn’t set a “double standard” by imposing sanctions against Belarus for alleged voter fraud and police brutality while avoiding doing so when Turkey carries on its exploration at the expense of EU members.

Meanwhile, the EU is set to announce sanctions on Monday against three companies from Turkey, Jordan and Kazakhstan which are accused of violating a UN arms embargo on Libya, diplomats told AFP.