Malaysia suspends Pakistan pilots after license fraud revelation

In this file photo, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane taxies before take-off from Karachi International Airport in Karachi on April 21, 2010. (AFP)
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Updated 03 July 2020

Malaysia suspends Pakistan pilots after license fraud revelation

  • Says the pilots were employed with ‘local operators,’ such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organizations
  • Pakistan has a total of 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines

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.
National carrier Malaysia Airlines said it does not have any Pakistani pilot, Malindo Air, the Malaysian arm of Indonesia’s Lion Air, said it does not have any foreign pilots, and AirAsia said it does not have any Pakistani pilot.
CAAM said the pilots were employed with “local operators,” such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organizations.
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.
“Licence holders that are verified as valid by (the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority) will be reinstated immediately,” it said.


In 'very good relationship' with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan PM says

Updated 29 November 2020

In 'very good relationship' with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan PM says

  • Speaking to local media, PM Khan said Pakistan was excellently placed in terms of foreign policy
  • Khan has made five state visits to Saudi Arabia in two years

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had a “very good” relationship with Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during an interview with local media on Saturday. 

Khan, speaking to journalist Mansoor Ali Khan, said any rumors regarding frays in Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia were inaccurate.

“I have a very good relationship with Saudi Arabia ... a very good relationship with MBS,” Khan said, referring to the crown prince.

The Prime Minister went on to say that Pakistan was excellently placed in terms of foreign policy and had strong relationships with all other countries -- from China to the US.

“Instead of saying ‘do more,’ now America releases statements praising the great job we’ve done during the Afghan peace process and intra-Afghan dialogue.”

“I challenge anyone to find another moment when Pakistan was better placed in foreign policy terms,” Khan said.

PM Khan has made five trips to Saudi Arabia in two years. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman also made a two-day visit to Islamabad in February 2019.