Taking advantage of the state-run Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) fuel crisis, private air carriers have increased their fares.
According to travel agents, private airlines have started charging an additional fare of up to 30% on domestic flights.
During the PIA’s crisis, private airlines have started charging passengers up to Rs77,000 for a return ticket to Karachi.
They are charging the one-way fare from Karachi to Lahore between Rs35,000 and Rs49,000.
Similarly, the private airlines have jacked up their one-way fare from Karachi to Islamabad to between Rs55,000 and Rs61,000.
The private airlines could not hike the fares of international flights because of the decrease in the number of overseas passengers.
Besides, foreign airlines have also reduced their fares on international routes.
The PIA’s domestic flight schedule had been adversely affected for the last one week.
The travel agents said that the number of passengers travelling domestically had increased because of the disruption of national airline’s flights.
Read also: PIA cancels another two dozen flights
On the other hand, the private airlines said there had been a difference in demand and supply because of the additional number of passengers.
The passengers have demanded that the government should fully resume the flights of the national airline.
The Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has refused to provide jet fuel to the cash-strapped PIA over the lack of payment of its outstanding dues, adding to the national flag carrier’s serious financial woes.
The current fuel crisis has led to the cancellation of more than 19 national and international flights by the PIA, with over 20 domestic and international flights experiencing unusual delays.
The PIA flights from Lahore to Islamabad, scheduled to depart on Wednesday night, were unable to take off. Karachi to Islamabad flights PK 368 and PK 369 were also cancelled.
The flight from Karachi to Lahore was delayed by more than four hours. Flights to Islamabad from Dubai were delayed by over 3.5 hours. The flight from Islamabad to Abu Dhabi, scheduled for 3:40 pm, was delayed by 3:40 hours.
Flight PK 283 from Peshawar to Dubai was delayed by more than 10 hours. Similarly, flight PK 257 from Peshawar to Sharjah experienced a delay of eight hours.
Flight PK 325 from Islamabad to Quetta was delayed by more than nine hours. Flight PK 301 from Karachi to Islamabad was delayed by 2.5 hours. Peshawar to Riyadh flight PK 727 was delayed by five hours.
Flight PK 223 from Faisalabad to Dubai was delayed by 15 hours. Flight PK765 from Multan to Riyadh was delayed by nine hours. Flight PK 715 from Multan to Madina was delayed by three hours. Flight PK 739 from Multan to Jeddah was delayed by three hours.
Flights from Sialkot to Jeddah and Sharjah experienced delays of over nine hours.
On Tuesday, PIA’s Karachi to Turbat flight PK 501, scheduled to depart at 7 am, was rescheduled for 1 pm because of the delayed fuel supply.
An Islamabad to Karachi flight, scheduled to depart at 7 am, took off after a 3-hour delay. Similarly, the Lahore to Islamabad flight scheduled at 7 am was delayed by 2.5 hours. The flights of the national airline from Islamabad to Dubai also experienced several hours of delay.
Over 14 flights were cancelled on Monday because of the lack of fuel.
The PIA on Thursday paid Rs150 million to the PSO purchase fuel for 33 flights, most of them on international routes.
After the current situation, the PIA is increasing the amount of money to buy fuel from the PSO.
The national flag carrier had paid Rs100 million, Rs125 million, and Rs150 million to the PSO on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, respectively.
However, the airline will need to pay at least Rs100 million to the PSO daily to continue normal operations.
Bilawal consults legal minds on ZAB reference
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday consulted legal minds of his party on the presidential reference case of his late grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The development came during a meeting of central and provincial officials as well as legal experts of the Peoples Lawyers Forum (PLF) at Zardari House here. Bilawal chaired the meeting.
During the meeting, the PLF officials briefed Bilawal on the presidential reference case of ZAB. Farooq H Naik and Shahadat Awan participated in the meeting through video link while Qazi Bashir, Bahram Khan Tareen, Raheel Kamran Cheema, Sajid Tanoli, Gohar Rehman Khattak, Ghiyasul Haque and Asrar Abbasi were present.
Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Faisal Karim Kundi, Raza Rabbani and Amna Paracha were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, a civil society delegation also met with Bilawal and discussed the challenges faced by the masses and their solutions.
Bilawal appreciated the delegation for their services and performance in their respective fields.
Ahmed Faraz Khan Advocate, Barrister Saifullah Ghori, Bilal Tariq Khan, Dr Abdul Mohiman, Dr Maria Hamid, Dr Salma Malik, Faheem Sardar, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, Huma Fawad, Jahanzeb Durrani and Kanwal Malik were among those who met the PPP chairman.
Lubna Bhayat, SM Tariq, Javed Akhtar, Pir Mohammad Anwar, Junaid, Raja Mohammad Khan, Sania Kamran, Shehbaz Zaheer, Shamamata Al Ambararbab, Buland Sohail, Kashaf Ahmed, Talha Rahmani, Osama Malik, Usman Iqbal Bandal and Yusuf Masih were part of the delegation. PPP Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi was also present on this occasion.
SC to take up appeals against military trial verdict on Dec 13
The Supreme Court is set to take up high-profile cases in the coming week, including the appeals against its verdict in the trial of civilians in military courts and pleas filed by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi.
A Supreme Court larger bench will hear on Dec 13 the intra-court appeals against its judgment in the case of civilians being tried in military courts. The appeals have been filed by the caretaker governments and the defence ministry.
On Oct 23, a five-judge bench of the SC unanimously declared the trial of civilians in military courts as null and void and ordered that the 103 accused in cases relating to the violence on May 9 and 10 be tried under ordinary criminal laws.
Moreover, Justice Naqvi, who is facing complaints of misconduct, recently wrote a letter to the top court’s three senior-most judges’ panel to point out the silence over his petitions challenging the issuance of a show-cause notice to him by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) despite the lapse of time as stipulated in the SC (Practice & Procedure) Act, 2023.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justice Aminuddin Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Musarrat Hilali, will hear his petitions on December 15.
A nine-member larger bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa will take up a presidential reference for revisiting the judgment wherein the death sentence of PPP founder and former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was endorsed.
The bench will conduct its proceedings in courtroom No. 1 on December 12. These decisions were made by the SC three-member committee comprising CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The other high-profile cases that will be tackled by the SC in the coming week include the evacuation of illegal Afghan residents, reclassification of commercial land in Karachi, and reinstatement of the FIR against PTI leader Moonis Elahi.
The top court has scheduled the hearing for petitions challenging the evacuation of foreign nationals, especially Afghan citizens, residing unlawfully in the country.
A three-judge bench, comprising Justice Masood, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ayesha Malik, will hear these pleas on December 12.
Farhatullah Babar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Amina Masood Janjua, Mohsin Dawar, Jibran Nasir, Syed Muaz Shah, Pastor Ghazala Parveen, Imaan Zainab Mazari, Ahmad Shabbar, Advocate Imran Shafiq, Luke Victor, Sijal Shafiq, and Rohail Kasi are contesting the evacuation orders.
In a separate case, the dismissal of a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) case against PTI’s Moonis by a special judge in Lahore and then the upholding of that decision by the Lahore High Court, has been challenged in the SC.
The FIA has filed an appeal against the dismissal, leading to a review in the apex court.
Moreover, the SC, previously deliberating on the powers of the caretaker government, directed the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP) to assist the court in forming a larger bench to interpret its authority.
In addition, review petitions challenging the decision on the reclassification of land in Karachi to commercial status will be heard in the coming week as well. A three-judge bench, led by Justice Ahsan, is scheduled to hear the matter on December 11.
The court has issued notices to all relevant parties, including the Sindh government, following its earlier ruling invalidating the conversion of public land into residential and commercial categories.
These petitions stem from a challenge initiated in 2010 by former Karachi nazim Niamatullah Khan against the alteration of public land’s categorisation.
A five-judge bench, led by CJP Isa, will also take up on December 14 former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s petition against his removal.
It is expected that the proceedings of both Bhutto and the ex-IHC judge’s cases will be available on the SC website.
SC to share recorded proceedings on website
The Supreme Court is preparing to release recorded proceedings of cases from Monday, marking a significant shift toward transparency in its operations, instead of broadcasting them live.
Initially, the court will share proceedings from Court No. 1, where the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) presides, on the Supreme Court website after the court’s timing.
The move follows the decision made during a full court meeting on September 18, where a majority allowed live coverage of judicial proceedings under the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Act 2023. The initiative was piloted with PTV broadcasting the full court proceedings.
Later, a committee, led by Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, was entrusted with assessing various options for streaming court proceedings live.
The committee has now presented its recommendations, deciding that instead of live streaming, recordings of Court No. 1 proceedings will be available on the SC website after the court session on the same day.
The development has evoked mixed reactions among lawyers. While some appreciate the move, a few senior lawyers advocate for live coverage, especially in high-profile cases, believing it would ensure greater transparency.
Read More: CJP says fully cognizant of his duties
The upcoming week holds significant importance for the apex court as it schedules hearings for several important cases.
A nine-member larger bench, headed by CJP Isa, is slated to convene regarding a presidential reference aimed at re-visiting the judgment that endorsed the death sentence of former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
These proceedings are set to take place in Courtroom No. 1 on December 12.
Additionally, a five-judge bench, also under the leadership of CJP Isa, will address the petition filed by former Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui against his removal on December 14.
It is expected that the proceedings of both cases will be available on the SC website
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