PPP leader and Senator Saleem Mandviwalla has raised apprehensions regarding the “selected privatisation” of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), decrying the lack of transparency in the process while fearing that the state entity might up in the hands of those affiliated with the PML-N.
Senator Mandviwalla, in an interview with a private news channel, claimed that he had come to know about a meeting on the issue that was chaired by Interim Privatisation Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad.
He alleged the attendance of PML-N leader Saad Rafique, a former railways and aviation minister, in the said meeting, questioning in which capacity Rafique attended the meeting.
Questioning the transparency of the process, Mandviwalla said, “Now you tell me what is this? You (PML-N) are saying we (PPP) agreed to the privatisation and allowed the caretaker government to do so, but if a previous minister is attending that meeting, then this is selected privatisation instead of being transparent.”
He said he feared that the airline might be sold to entities of choice without due diligence, stressing the need for a more transparent and accountable privatisation process.
“There will be no transparency and then obviously, the people we will protest. We will protest politically and PIA employees, everyone, will protest. People will go to court as well,” he added.
Read also: Adviser picked for PIA sell-off
In response to a question about the involvement of the PML-N in the privatisation process, Mandviwalla said: “[Obviously], the PML-N is doing it.”
Pressing further, the senator questioned the capacity in which Saad Rafique attended the privatisation meeting.
Addressing concerns about the perception that the airline might be sold to individuals affiliated with the PML-N, Senator Mandviwalla asserted, “This is not a mere perception but a fact.”
He suggested that the privatisation process seemed tailored to favour a specific buyer, alleging, “When you do privatisation like this, then you must have prepared a buyer and done an agreement with them that ‘no one else will bid in the privatisation so we will give it to you.'”
Emphasising the PPP’s stance, Mandviwalla asserted that privatisation conducted in such a manner would be deemed unacceptable by his party, and they would actively protest against it.