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    December 11, 2016




                            The Misfortunes of The PIA

The month of December has been a month of agony for our  country since Independence. On 16 December 1971 East and West Pakistan got separated into Pakistan and Bangladesh. On the same day in 2014 a terrorist attacked on APS and  killed our hundred and more innocent children during school time. This event changed our sorrow into tears and pain. Similarly on 7 December 2016 we faced yet another accident tragedy of our life.  As Chitral is far away from other main cities of Pakistan, an airplane is scheduled by Government via PIA to serve people of this area twice a week. An unlucky plane PK-661 took off from Chitral airport taking 40 passengers and seven crewmembers at 3:50 pm on this Wednesday to  Benazir Bhutto International airport Islamabad. After 20 minutes of itís flight the pilot of the plane noticed failure of one of his jetís two engine. He immediately informed the Control Tower but it was too late to do anything and  suddenly it lost its holding capacity and fell down crushing near Havalian of Abottabad city. However we lost 47 lives in this crush. DC Chitral Osama Warraich and Islamic Icon Junaid Jamshed were also in this plane. Majority of the passengers were from Chitral and three were foreign passengers.

The plane is not new but here is a list of such accidents since Independence:

  1)      Pakistan airways or Pak Air was one of the two main airlines after Independence in 1947. It was formed in 1948 and headquatered in Karachi (the capital of Pakistan at that time). This airline faced a total of three crushes its operative period. The first one happened in 1948 at Busra Iraq , second at Vehari Punjab and third at Karachi. Many casualities reported in these crushes.

  2)      In 1954 His Highness Saifur Rehman (Mehtar of Chitral) was killed in a tragic air crush over Loweri Pass. The reason of this air crush remains unknown.

  3)      PIA Flight 705 was a Boeing 720-040B that crushed while descending to land on runway at Cairo Airport in 1965. In this crush 119 were killed and only six survived with injuries. Till now, it is Egyptís second worst aviation disaster.

  4)      Another is PIA Flight 17 crushed in 1966 involving Sikrosy S-61 twin-engine helicopter arriving from Dakha to Faridpur Bangladesh (East Pakistan at that time). 24 casualities report and only one survived with injuries. The reason of the crush reported mechanical failure due to insufficient lubrication but during the flight a vulture hit the one blade of rotor blades.

  5)      PIA Flight 631 in 1972 that took off from Gilgit and never reached its destination. 26 casualities reported including passangers and crewmembers. The reason of this crush was its collision with a hill near Maidan due to a rain storm.

  6)      In the same row is the crush of  PIA Flight PK-740 which was a Boeing 707-340C  crushed during its take off at Jeddah Airport in 1979 and designated to land in Karachi. About  156 casualities reported with no survival. The reason of this crush was leakage of gasoline stove carried by one of the Hajj pilgrim passanger followed by fire in the cabin of the plane.

  7)      In 1989 A PIA Fokker carrying 54 people disappeared after leaving Gilgit in northern Pakistan. The wreckage is never found.

  8)      In 2006 PIA Flight 688 took off from Multan to Lahore . There were about 41 passangers and 4 crewmembers all of whom died. Amongest  of them were vice chancellor of Bahauddian Zakariya University Prof. Dr M Nasair Khan and world known Pakistani Neurosurgeon  Prof. Dr Iftikhar Ali Raja. Witnesses reported flames of fire just after it take off.

The main reasons behind these crushes are still a mystery and all the Black Boxes once send to France for investigation never investigated or it may be a secret which we would never know.Although the plane was not fit for flight yet  it was ordered to be used . Such is the unfortunate story of Pakistan,when something happens in Pakistan only committees and commissions are constituted but all in vain. No one investigates or release any type of investigative report. Therefore we demand to remove PIA Chairman and its engineering department immediately, so that fair investigation could be possible.

May all the departed souls rest in peace. May ALLAH forgive their sins and bless them with a place in Jannah. May Allah give their families  patience to bear such huge loss. Ameen!


Afeefa Assadullah


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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