The annual pilgrimage of Hajj has surely seen enough scandals and controversies every year, the recent ones including the problems caused by corruption of real estate agents however, the ways by which elite in Pakistan get highly discriminated privileges is another unfair bias. Power surely corrupts and Pakistani politicians have attracted enough attention towards corruption in Pakistan especially in the hands of our dear politicians. Chartered planes and doing Hajj with support of government expenses in the most luxurious ways by families and friends of our dear politicians have already been a source of agony for the general masses, who are burdened with inflation and having a hard time coping with all the shortages of the country making their life miserable. However, the ever increasing taxes and stressed life of the masses is an alien phenomena to the elite class to seem to exploit masses fully to pay for their ever luxurious unjustified trips.
The chartered plane of PIA carrying friends and families (189 people-passengers and crew) of Interior Minister Rehman Malik flew to Saudi Arabia after the deadline for the last Hajj flight had passed. This special flight landed in Jeddah with the delay of 14 and a half hours just because some close friends and relatives had to be accommodated.Without securing permission from the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, the plane left for Jeddah under pressure from higher authorities. Knowing that it would lead to a fine by the Saudi authorities and could lead to confiscation of the plane. After diplomatic intervention, the flight was not confiscated but a fine of Rs. 4.8 million has been imposed by the Saudi government. The PIA facing unprecedented losses already has asked the interior ministry to pay the fine as it is unable to do so. Interestingly, it is also learnt that the expenses were actually borne by some other people including a real estate developer however the impression given was that they are being met by the Interior minister.
This special flight not only upset the PIA schedule for Europe and other important regions but is also an embarrassing incident for the nation. The use of power to self advantages have always been a source of unfair discrimination and hopelessness among the masses, but the politicians that should be guarding the state's interests and working for the welfare of the people seem to have long forgotten their duty. Such incidents damage the reputation of Pakistan internationally as well as break the hopes of the people when it comes to these politicians. With the image of Pakistan already suffering internationally, such irresponsible and arrogant behaviours by our ministers is the worst of the things happening. One can only wish system changes and they can be held accountable!