‘Reluctant’ CAA to pay off PIA, Pakistan Railways’ debts with Rs 31 billion

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The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has extended “reluctant” support to the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Railways (PR) for paying off their debts so both the public entities could continue operating. An insider told Pakistan Today that the CAA has received orders to pay off PIA and PR’s debts. The source said the CAA is going to grant Rs 31 billion to the PIA and PR. He said, “A few days ago, CAA Director General (DG) Air Mshl Khalid Chaudhry received a letter with instructions to spare some money for the PIA and PR. After consultation, the CAA decided to grant Rs 20 billion to the PIA and Rs 11 billion to the PR.” He also said, “Things are changing rapidly in the CAA after the appointment of President Asif Ali Zardari’s stepsister’s husband Fazlullah Peechoho as the chief financial officer (CFO) of the authority this month.” He further said the PIA is already Rs 32 billion in debt to the CAA, and now the authority is being forced to pay Rs 20 billion to the airlines without any chances of recovery. Despite repeated attempts, the CAA DG could not be reached for comments. Moreover, CAA spokesman Pervez George could not confirm the exact figure the PIA has to pay the CAA. However, he confirmed the appointment of Peechoho as the CFO.