Government to Crack Down on PIA Protests Ahead of Privatization

The caretaker federal government has devised a strategy with the formal approval of the federal cabinet to preempt anticipated protests over the proposed privatization of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

The cornerstone of this approach is the enforcement of a mandatory service law on PIA workers, effectively curbing their right to protest, reported The News.

Under the approved plan, the Pakistan Essential Service (Maintenance) Act 1952 has been set in motion through a circular, imposing stringent restrictions on PIA workers, preventing them from engaging in protests or strikes.

Sources reveal that the federal cabinet has greenlit this measure to stifle any potential resistance to the privatization of the national flag carrier.

Additionally, the caretaker government has taken steps to ban union activities within PIA, further fortifying its strategy to avert any opposition from the workforce. Authorities have emphasized that strict punitive actions will be meted out to those who violate the newly imposed regulations.

The move comes against the backdrop of PIA’s sustained financial struggles, grappling with losses over several years. Recently, the airline faced a critical fuel supply interruption when Pakistan State Oil declined to provide fuel, necessitating government intervention to release funds and restore normal flight operations.

The caretaker government’s decision to enforce these measures underscores the challenges and contentious nature of the privatization process for the national carrier.

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