A flight steward of PIA abused and physically assaulted his pilot while their aircraft was in transit at the Bahrain Airport. The matter is being probed both by PIA and Bahrain authorities.

Whether the jiyala will also be sacked is yet to be seen as he is said to be an important member of the pro-PPP workers union in PIA, the People’s Unity.

Although PIA spokesman Syed Sultan Hasan confirmed the incident and said as per the standing operating procedures an inquiry has been started, he denied that there was any pressure on the PIAC not to proceed against the flight steward. The spokesman said the steward, in his statement, had alleged that the flight captain had thrashed him and tried to push him out of the cockpit. The incident is being probed according to the set procedures.
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The pilot claimed that he was showered with punches after a barrage of verbal abuses when the PIA flight PK-289 was at Bahrain Airport on the night of February 13.

The CAA of Bahrain and the local police were informed, but in order to avoid a possible impounding of the aircraft and other complications, the pilot, Capt Shahab Anees, did not press the issue to be dealt by the foreign authorities. He reported the matter to the PIA authorities but action againstthe flight steward is still awaited. In his statement, a copy of which is available with The News, Captain Shahab Anees informed the PIAC director flight operation that at theBahrain Airport after the disembarkation of passengers, Flt Std Badar Munir was called inside the cockpit by co-pilot (first officer) Zain, who inquired from the former about the problem with the cockpit door operation during the Lahore-Bahrain flight.

Narrating what happened to him, Captain Shahab said: “During this conversation with F/O Zain, Flt Std Badar Munir very rudely replied to F/O Zain’s questions and at one point he said “SO WHAT IF I DO NOT KNOW THE OPERATION, COME TO THE POINT”. On sensing that Flt Std Badar Munir was getting aggressive and the situation might get out of hand, I immediately intervened and told Mr Badar Munir to leavethe cockpit and call the purser. On this he replied “how dare you tell me to go out”. “When I again firmly emphasised on his leaving the cockpit and calling the purser, Flt Std Badar Munir totally lost control of himself and assaulted me with a volley of punches and verbal abuses. I was hit once on the head. This sudden unprovoked physical and verbal assault threw me in a shock initially as I was sitting on my seat and not expecting such a rash act of criminal assault on me.

“The incident was told to the purser in front of the Ground Engineer. The Station Manager Bahrain was also called at the same time. He was told about the whole incident on which he was shocked. The GM CC Capt. Saleem Ahmad was called on mobile as DFO was not available, on hearing the incident he told me to off load Flt Std Badar Munir atBahrain, which he also told the Stn Manager Bahrain CAA Bahrain and Police also came on the aircraft. Police officers informed that if I lodge police charges against the Flt Std they will arrest him. Station ManagerBahrain requested that the case should not be made as it would become very complicated for them. I avoided to do so in the interest of the company as it could have created an international incident and caused legal obligations for the Airline. The Flt Std Badar was off loaded atBahrain by Stn Mgr Bahrain, after which the flight 290 was dispatched from Bahrain to Lahore.

By Ansar Abbasi - The News