Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has refused to invest in Pakistan’s 3 major airports after concerned authorities in Pakistan resisted delegating airport operations to QIA’s professional management.
QIA wanted Pakistan to transfer the operations of Islamabad International Airport, Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, and Allama Iqbal Airport, Lahore. The previous government of Pakistan had also announced plans to commercialize up to 30% equity stakes of these airports.
However, there has been a change of heart as the new Pakistani government now wants to retain the complete operational control of the airports and outsource only individual services like parking, tuck shop, and restaurants.
An official document QIA reads:
The deviation by the authorities concerned from the earlier model carved out in 2017 under which expression of interests were sought for ‘Operation Management and Development Agreement’ and ‘Airport Services License’ is the main reason of refusal by Qatar Investment Authority to invest in major airports of Pakistan.
In April 2019, QIA had called upon Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to explore different avenues of investment in Pakistan. QIA also requested PM Khan to expedite the transfer of the major airports to the company.