President’s security delays PIA flight, PM calls for action against VIP culture

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken notice of the more than three and a half hour long delay in a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Karachi to Islamabad due to the security arrangements made for President Mamnoon Hussain at Karachi airport.

According to highly-placed sources, security agencies took over Jinnah International Airport Karachi and suspended all ground movement of aircraft and vehicles because President Mamnoon Hussain was flying to Islamabad. As a result, at least one PIA flight for Islamabad was delayed for over three hours.

Sources said that a C-130 of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was called in to take the president to Islamabad and all ground movements at the airport were suspended at around 4:30pm on Friday. The president’s flight took off from Terminal I at around 7:45pm.

Meanwhile, the aircraft for PIA flight PK-370 was parked at a distant parking bay and could not be towed to the bay at Jinnah Terminal due to movement restrictions. As a result, 300 passengers of PK-370 had to wait for over three hours and could only board the aircraft after the president had flown away.

Following a protest by the passengers, the PM has criticised senior officials responsible for the delay and also called for action against them.