A Pakistan International Airlines plane was recently held back in Malaysia, with alternative arrangements being made for its passengers-to-be. With the airlines involved in a legal dispute, the aircraft was reportedly seized on the basis of a court order. The company had failed to pay the lease of the aircraft on time.
"A PIA aircraft has been held back by a local court in Malaysia taking one sided decision pertaining to a legal dispute between PIA and another party pending in a UK court. The passengers are being looked after and alternate arrangements for their travel have been finalized," the airline had tweeted. Pakistan's Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has said that the PIA officials will appear before a court in the UK on January 22 and a Malaysian court on January 24.
But even as PIA officials insist that their arguments had not been heard by Malaysia, lawmakers within Pakistan seem to be taking a rather dim view of the situation. In a video that has since gone viral, a Pakistani lawmaker can be heard speaking in the Parliament.
"Today Malaysia has halted our airplane in lieu loan repayment. Tomorrow if any airport detains the Prime Minister over non-payment of loans...what will happen?" he can be heard asking.
The official seems rather confident about this, stating that people will be detained if loans are not repaid. Calling it a shameful fact, he alleged that the country was taking loans but not repaying them. "If Malaysia...a country that is our friend...has taken this action, I can confidently say that tomorrow they'll stop our Prime Minister also," he says.
(With inputs from agencies)