Rawalpindi – A large number of passengers having PIA return tickets in their hands yesterday lost their patience and chanted slogans against national airline employees who are protesting against the killing of their colleagues and privatisation of Pakistan International Airline (PIA).A possible clash between the passengers and protesting employees was averted by the law-enforcement agencies at Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport. The passengers chanted slogans against the PIA employees and held them responsible for the delay in flights. However, the PIA employees responded with slogans against the federal government.
According to details, a large number of PIA employees reached the entrance of the airport at 11:30am to continue their protest and stage a sit-in. Meanwhile, a group of passengers reached the spot having PIA return tickets into their hands. They started chanting slogans against the PIA employees accusing them of delay in their flights for Gulf States. The protesting PIA workers responded with slogans against the federal government. At a moment, both the passengers and charged PIA employees came face to face but the police and Airports Security Force (ASF) intervened and avoided the possible clash.
Within no time, Peoples Unity of PIA Employees Union President Ramzan Laghari, General Secretary Suhail Mukhtar, Air League of Employees Union (CBA) General Secretary Zaigham Sajjad Kiyani, Malik Nasir Awan of Insaaf Workers Front and PIA Employees Association President Abdul Mateen Abbasi reached and cooled down the both sides. They said that the federal government was responsible for the woes of the passengers and for cancellation of their flights. They said that PIA employees have been agitating for their rights as well as against the killing of their colleagues in Karachi.
Meanwhile, the protest of PIA employees continued outside the airport. The representatives of the Joint Action Committee of the workers addressed the protestors and said that they would continue their protest till the government drops its plan to privatise the PIA.
As the protest continues, over 40 domestic and international PIA flights were cancelled at the BB airport.
The representatives of the JAC vowed to continue their protest on Sunday and appreciated the workers for coming to the sit-in on weekend.