Drugs inserted into PIA plane in Karachi

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Customs officials investigating the discovery of narcotics aboard a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight in London believe the drugs were inserted into the plane while it was parked in Karachi on May 8. Sources in the Pakistan Customs said the plane was with PIA’s maintenance department in Karachi for around 20 hours on May 8, following which it flew to Lahore, Islamabad and then London on May 16. Customs investigators have discovered that the narcotics were also hidden in compartments in the plane’s roof — a time-consuming process which could only have been performed when the plane was stationary for a long time. Talking to media here yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Aviation Adviser Sardar Mehtab Abbasi said there has yet been no official word from the UK authorities on the issue.   “This is not an issue of PIA but of the international image of Pakistan,” he stated. Meanwhile, PIA’s UK station manager Sajidullah Khan has said that the 12 PIA crew members will get their passports back today after which they will leave for Pakistan. A spokesman of the Pakistan High Commission in London said that they are in touch with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the incident. “We have been informed that local authorities are investigating the matter and further findings will be shared with us when available,” the spokes-person stated.

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