The PIA Pickle

Sando, Say What? Pt. 3

Weekly Chokus Bureau Chief: Sando Sapanwalla

I TIP my ratty turban to Zafar Masud.

While you wouldn’t catch me within sneezing distance of a PIA plane, he again flew with the airline that nearly deep-sixed him in late May. What courage.

Likewise, his tweets from a day earlier plucked all the right notes, asking his fellow citizens to support the beleaguered national carrier as it undertakes painful reforms.

Masud is a true-blue patriot who merits all the kudos that come his way, but you see the proverbial highway-to-hell is slick with good intentions.

This episode again underscores the depressing reality that PIA is Pakistan in miniature: a perverse montage of adroit excuses and staged photo-ops glossing over our dark underbelly.

We’d be golden if plane crashes were all of PIA’s problems, but they’re only its rotten core made plain.

Pitiful customer service; pilots with fake licenses; 500 flipping employees per plane; a contentious CEO with zero experience of reviving sick industries; and recently, airline staff scalping tickets to hapless Pakistanis: this wretched list knows no end.

It’s the damnedest thing, you know. Our beloved Kaptan loves to quote the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), but his policies hold not the wisdom of tying your camel before trusting in Allah.

I imagine he expects the sacred cows to lasso the rogue livestock, but then what’s his utility to Pakistan? The way I see, he’s more the prime minister of Kashmir this year than ours.

For all his fist-pumping over trade surpluses, when was the last time he bought his own groceries or paid an electricity bill? If that doesn’t scare his toupee into a fright wig, nothing will.

Here’s another doozy: over two decades an apprentice to politics and even so Kaptan couldn’t build a shadow cabinet able to run their respective ministries without scandal. Outrageous.

Given his unswerving praise for Britain’s democracy, this should’ve topped his agenda the moment he determined to contest polls.

As for PIA, gangrene has set so deep in the brand it’s best to reboot with a new name and foreign managers unconcerned with political exigencies.

Now, we can sing the national anthem ten times on the trot with palms firmly planted over our chests, but this white elephant can’t perform any more party tricks.

Returning full circle to Masud and the hellish highway: you meant well, sir, but I fear you’ve only prolonged the inevitable.

Fiscal discipline bedrocks every profitable enterprise in existence, and impossible in PIA so long as our political elites treat it as a buffet for party loyalists. Fat chance that’ll happen in my lifetime.

*ProWritingAid scores our content against published creative writing. Here's why we decided to report these scores.

Weekly Chokus © 2020 


All stories on this website are works of fiction. Shocking, we know.