More than a dozen sportsmen, including current and former cricketers, footballers, and hockey players, are set to part ways with PIA after availing Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS).
According to details, former national cricketers, Wasim Akram, Azeem Hafeez, and Aizaz Cheema, former first-class cricketers, Shahryar Ghani and Najaf Shah, current first-class cricketer, Sheheryar Ghani, former hockey goalkeeper, and Olympian, Shahid Ali Khan, former national hockey captain, Muhammad Irfan, former national footballer and manager of PIA team, Zafar Iqbal, and a few other former and current sportsmen will leave PIA.
Owing to a crippling financial crisis, PIA has been unable to ensure participation of its cricket, hockey, football, and other sports teams in national level championships in recent years.
Despite producing numerous hockey Olympians and world-class cricketers in the past, PIA’s hockey team failed to participate in the national championship last year while its cricket team was relegated to Grade-II before the PCB abolished departmental cricket.
Moreover, PIA did not hire any new players for any of its sports teams during the past several years.
In order to cut losses, PIA had introduced the VSS under which its employees have been provided with a chance to resign voluntarily after receiving substantial compensation for each year of service.
PIA aims to lay off around 3,500 employees under the VSS for which the Economic Coordination Committee had allocated Rs. 12 billion.
Currently, PIA has more than 14,000 employees. However, the national carrier only needs 7,000 employees to effectively run its operations.