Landing plane

US uses Pakistan airspace but did not pay

ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has made attempts through diplomatic channels to recover Rs.18 million from the United States for using Pakistani airspace but has not received any response from the US to date.

This was revealed by Secretary Aviation Division Squadron Leader (rtd.) Muhammad Irfan Elahi before parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday. The amount was due against US Air Force for using Pakistani airspace during the Afghan war.

“The authority has sent letters through Ministry of Foreign Affairs but has not received a reply,” Elahi said.

The CAA said there was confusion over who would pay this money after the privatization of PIA. Sheikh Rohale Asghar of the PML-N asked the PAC Chairman to recommend the government for transfer of liabilities along with PIA’s assets to the airline’s new management.

Mehmood Khan Achakzai, a political leader said: accumulation of Rs.14 billion was a sheer violation of the CAA rules and yet no action was taken for this negligence. “The Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) and auditors have recommended forfeiting security of the defaulting parties,” he said.

Elahi claimed that Rs.4 billion out of the total Rs.14.35 billion had been recovered. However, he could not show this through documents presented to the committee.

The secretary also could not satisfy the committee about the extra contractual decision of ‘the engineer’ involving ‘unwarranted’ payments of Rs.4.08 billion for the new Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad.

Neo Monitoring Desk

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