UK may ban PIA flights

Himalayan News Service

Islamabad, July 10:

Under pressure to check human smuggling from Pakistan, UK has threatened to ban Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights if Islamabad doesn’t urgently sign a pact to prevent the practice. Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao and Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah had told PM Shaukat Aziz at a cabinet meeting Britain would ban PIA flights unless a memorandum of understanding on “managed immigration of illegal Pakistanis” was not signed on an urgent basis. They had warned UK could prohibit PIA flights if the “required” accord was not inked, The News reported today. Shah had prepared a summary of the salient features of the MoU for the cabinet’s approval. He had earlier led a top-level delegation of Pakistani officials to London for negotiations on the MoU. The UK government has told Islamabad that because of rising number of human smuggling cases from Pakistan, the government of PM Tony Blair government was facing political pressure on the domestic front.