ISLAMABAD: Spokesperson for Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday termed a report as factually incorrect which said former German chief executive officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Bernd Hildenbrand’s name was removed from the exit control list (ECL) in the wake of guarantees received from the German embassy on the request of the former interior minister.
“To the contrary, the interior minister was not in favour of allowing the former PIA’s CEO to leave the contrary without being held accountable for his alleged corruption,” said the spokesperson.
“It was on the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office that permission was granted to Hildenbrand.”
According to the spokesperson, “apparently, German ambassador had contacted the ministry of foreign affairs and had given an assurance that Hildenbrand would return to the country after one month.”
“It was in the context of recommendations from the Foreign Office that secretary to prime minister personally met Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and conveyed PM’s (Nawaz Sharif) directions to allow Hildenbrand to proceed abroad for one month.”
A Senate sub-committee was informed on Tuesday that it was on the request of Nisar Ali Khan that Hildenbrand’s was removed from the ECL.
The Senate’s Special Committee on PIA had formed a three-member subcommittee to look into the controversial sale of the national carrier’s Airbus A-310 to a German firm in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules.
The four-member committee headed by Senator Farhatullah Babar expressed serious reservations over the report of the Ministry of Interior that named the then minister for removal of his name from the ECL.
In this regard, interior ministry officials also presented a letter before the sub-committee that carried Nisar’s signature. The ministry further stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had requested the removal of the PIA chief’s name from the ECL.
German national Hildenbrand who worked for the PIA was facing serious allegations of mega corruption when he was given special exemption – despite having his name on the ECL – to fly abroad for a month in the first week of May in 2017. He was initially appointed as PIA’s chief operating officer but was later given the charge of acting chief executive officer on April 22 last year.
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