IN time, most of us will forget the PIA plane crash. However, we as a nation must raise our voices collectively against the callous disregard for human life. How often we have heard statements like the prime minister ordering an inquiry, the CM taking notice, the interior minister pledging to deal with an iron hand. Those held responsible to get harsh punishments and so on and so forth. All that comes of these pronouncements is a big zero.
I am a retired pilot with 44 years in the cockpit and can assure you that the safest mode of travel today is by air, because modern aircraft are extremely safe. Every system has a back-up, the pilots are trained well and commercial aviation is about the most regulated industry in the world. However, when airlines are mismanaged and the regulatory body ceases to discharge its function, then accidents occur.
The latest crash is because of such failures, and the inquiry, even if it puts together the eventual cause of the crash, will be a cover-up shielding those responsible.
Modern aircraft engines do not fail unexpectedly, but failure is built up only if signs of wear and tear are neglected. In most government endeavours work is accomplished on paper only. In the case of PIA, maintenance and most of the repairs are on paper only relying on the dependability of aircraft systems to compensate.
Had we a system of justice that was independent of government largesse one could go to court and seek an end to such callousness and corruption. — Javed Khan Tareen, Islamabad. Published in Dawn 11 Dec 2016