Even though Assistant Vigilance Officer of PCAA has requested the SHO Airport PS (vide letter no. JIAP/1396-16/002/KCVG dated 14-06-2012) to lodge the FIR, the police is yet to register the FIR. Having been denied legal respite, PCAA staff supporting their colleague, Saif-ur-Rehman, protested against the excesses of the ASF at PCAA headquarters.
Holding placards inscribed with slogans like “Chokidar ko itna haq na do k wo ghar k malik ko na pehchanay”, “ASF k ahlkaron k khilaf FIR darj ke jai”, “CAA colony say ASF ke kali bhairon ko bahir nikalo”,”ASF ke gunda gardi band ke jai” and “CAA k mehnat kash par qatilana hamlay ke pur zor muzamat kartay hain”.The staff demanded immediate departmental inquiry against Deputy DG ASF Col Farooq.
The ASF was established in 1976 under the ASF Act LXXVII of 1975, initially as the 10th Directorate of the Department of Civil Aviation. After the hijacking of PIA aeroplane in March 1981, sensing the contradictory requirements of security and facilitation, ASF was separated and in December 1983, was placed under the folds of Ministry of Defence. Finally in 1984, ASF was subjected to Pakistan Army Act.
Despite having its own separate budget, the ASF has occupied the residential quarters of PCAA, depriving the staff of the same facilities. “Even the utility bills have not been paid to the PCAA by ASF,” said an infuriated employee of PCAA requesting anonymity. He further said that the force has become a “land mafia” as it has occupied a huge area of land belonging to PCAA.
This could not have been possible without the collaboration of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority. The “qabza” on prime PCAA land could not have been possible without the involvement of high officials of PCAA. Both the PCAA and ASF, it seems, are hand in glove.
The Civil Aviation Authority is mired with corruption. The Auditor General (AG) has unearthed irregularities to the tune of Rs 11.028 billion in the still under-construction New Islamabad Airport. The AG’s report highlights financial mismanagement of Rs 1.076 billion, misprocurement of Rs 8.309 billion, anomalies in construction work of Rs 1.44 billion and mismanagement of assets amounting to Rs 226.991 million.
Over the years the security force, which once enjoyed a good reputation and was held in high esteem, has started losing its image. Tasked with general maintenance of law and order within the limits of airports in conjunction with the police and taking cognisance of all offences committed at the airports and aerodromes, the ASF is fast becoming the perpetrator of violence.
Rule of law, vibrant judicial system, public safety & security of the masses are the most conspicuous hallmarks of any modern-day civilized society. It is indeed a serious state of affairs when the law-enforcement agencies themselves start to indulge in crime and violence. It is high time the Ministry of Defence took cognizance of the situation and put in an internal check and balance system in the ASF as well as the PCAA. Internal check mechanism will also assist the honest, efficient and professionally competent officers/officials to excel in their career.