Representational image Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: More than 30 per cent of civilian pilots in Pakistan have fake licences and are not qualified to fly, said Pakistan aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan to an international media outlet on June 24.

Khan while addressing the national assembly in Pakistan said that roughly 1 out of 3 pilots numbering at around 260 had paid someone else to take exams on their behalf to get their licences.

Reacting to the statement, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has immediately grounded all its pilots with fake licences. Pakistan has more than 850 active pilots flying for various domestic airlines and other foreign carriers.

The finding of fake licences were revealed following an investigation of the PIA plane crash in Karachi in May 2020 that killed around 100 people.

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According to reports, Khan told the Pakistan Parliament that the pilots of the ill-fated PIA flight that crashed were not focused during the flight and were talking about coronavirus while on flight.

Khan further pointed out “overconfidence and lack of concentration” as some of the major reasons for the plane crash on May 22 that killed nearly 100 people on board.

“The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers and the ATC, on the other hand, did not inform the pilot about the engine colliding… the pilots were discussing corona throughout the flight. They were not focussed. They talked about corona […] their families were affected. When the control tower asked him to increase the plane’s height, the pilot said ‘I’ll manage’. There was overconfidence,” Khan said during the national assembly on June 24 while presenting the findings of the interim investigation on the PIA plane crash on May 22.

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