Pakistan delays privatisation of flag carrier after protests

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has postponed the planned privatisation of its national flag carrier after ongoing protests by PIA employees.
The labour union and pilots’ organisation joined hands against the government decision to sell off limited shares of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) with management control.
A major strike was held on Friday and a bigger one was announced for February 2 to jam all flights and operational offices of the company, prompting the government to review its plan.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan from ruling PML-N announced that the government had postponed the privatisation for six months, asking protesting workers to end strike.
He said government wants to improve working of the PIA and was not privatising it or sacking the employees. He asked a joint action committee of PIA employees to hold talks with the government.
Khan warned that the government would come hard on those protesters had locked airline offices.
According to sources Pakistan has already decided to offload several big organisations running into losses, including PIA, under an agreement with IMF and will ultimately sell it. Though, the government is giving the impression that with sale of limited share it was not going to privatise PIA.

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