No airline can enter into negotiation with foreign countries: Defence Ministry

A spokesman of Ministry of Defence Wednesday said that no airline can enter into negotiation with foreign countries without the approval of Ministry of Defence.

Commenting on the reports about a deal between PIA Management and CEO of Turkish Airlines, the spokesman clarified in a press release that a Record of Discussions, which was signed between PIA Management and CEO of Turkish Airline on 29th Dec 2010, PIA’s Headquarters at Karachi, can not be termed as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is only the prerogative of the government to negotiate.

He said that the discussions – included points on traffic rights, and on commercial and technical arrangements- was, in fact, beyond the purview of the airline to discuss.

He said that the Ministry had made it clear to all concerned that the RoD does not have any legal validity as its name suggests and is subject to approval of the competent authority.

The RoD is being evaluated in all its dimensions to determine the implications, in order for the Government to arrive at an appropriate decision. This entails a comprehensive analysis, which is presently being done by the Ministry.

After evaluating the pros and cons of the RoD, the Ministry would be in a position to determine the appropriate course of action to take vis–vis future bilateral talks and conclusion of a mutually beneficial agreement. It will be ensured that the interests of the Aviation sector of Pakistan are secured.

The spokesman further clarified that the recent tussle between various associations of PIA vis–vis the Management, is an internal matter as the associations have disagreement with Management over the financial and commercial aspects of the Record of Discussion.

He said it should not reflect in any way the very close and brotherly ties between the Pakistani and Turkish peoples and our respective Governments. As the mutually, phrased saying goes. `We are two countries, but one nation’.