Malik calls for probe into sacking of man who expelled him from flight

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Senator Rehman Malik says he has asked for a parliamentary committee to investigate allegations that he politically influenced the job termination of a man who led and filmed his expulsion from a PIA flight.

The video clip, filmed by former Gerry’s Group general manager Arjumand Azhar Hussain and showing irate passengers expelling Malik for a delay of a PIA flight, had gone viral on the social media.

Hussain was fired from his job at the Gerry’s Group earlier this week, with rumours circulating that the termination was the result of political pressure exerted by Senator Malik, who was the federal interior minister from 2008 to 2013 during the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led government.

Malik took to social media early Friday, tweeting a letter he said he has written to the Senate chairman asking him to form a parliamentary committee to probe the media reports and ‘false allegations’ against him.

“I would like to draw your kind attention to the recent social and electronic media reports wherein a false allegation has been levelled that I got Arjumand Azhar terminated from his job by using my political pressure,” he writes in the letter addressed to the Senate chairman.

“I had earlier stated in the media that I have no role whatsoever in his termination. I would like to request you to kindly have the following investigated by a Parliamentary Committee to bring the real facts in front of the public,” writes Malik.

He further asks the committee to determine the “real facts” behind Hussain’s termination, and to ascertain if any political pressure or influence was exerted by him for Hussain’s termination.

Malik also tweeted two other similar letters — one addressed to Hussain expressing his sympathies over his termination and offering legal help, and the other asking the chairman of the Travel Agents Association of Pakistan (TAAP) to investigate the matter.

Earlier this week, Gerry’s Group denied that the sacking was due to political influence or that it had anything to do with the video, saying their decision was “purely based on merit”.

In a post on Facebook, Gerry Group said Hussain “was a new employee whose services were subject to successful completion of probation and his performance was under review at which point the company decided not to confirm his appointment”.

“We realise that the timings of his employment probation and his video recording are not too distant hence Arjumand Hussain has used this to politicise the matter to his advantage,” said the Gerry’s group.

Hussain has not yet responded to Malik’s offer of help or call for an investigation into the allegations.

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