Pak­istan’s na­tional car­rier mocked for goat sac­ri­fice

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pak­istan’s em­bat­tled na­tional car­rier has been widely mocked for sac­ri­fic­ing a goat next to a plane to ward off bad luck, weeks af­ter one of the coun­try’s worst air dis­as­ters. A Pak­istan In­ter­na­tional Air­lines (PIA) tur­bo­prop plane built by Euro­pean man­u­fac­turer ATR plum­meted into a moun­tain in a north­ern re­gion on De­cem­ber 7, burst­ing into flames and killing all 47 peo­ple on board.

The an­i­mal slaugh­ter, which took place on Sun­day at Islamabad air­port and was cap­tured in a pho­to­graph which went vi­ral, was met with de­ri­sion by many so­cial me­dia users-who said the car­rier was for­go­ing safety stan­dards in fa­vor of su­per­sti­tion. “This is no joke: #Pak­istan in­vents a new safety mea­sure for its crash­ing air car­rier #PIA,” tweeted user Asim Yousafzai.

An­other user Ra­hoon Rashid said: “(Black goats) don’t keep the planes up and fly­ing, ef­fi­ciency does”. Lead­ing news­pa­per Dawn ran a front-page story yes­ter­day head­lined “PIA: on a wing and a prayer”. The sac­ri­fice was con­firmed by PIA spokesman Danyal Gi­lani, who said it was a “ges­ture of grat­i­tude” by some em­ploy­ees be­fore the re­sump­tion of flights of the air­line’s ATR fleet. It was not sanc­tioned by man­age­ment, Gi­lani said. PIA grounded its 10 re­main­ing ATR planes in the wake of the dis­as­ter pend­ing de­tailed in­spec­tions. The air­line’s chair­man Muham­mad Azam Saigol last week ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion cit­ing “per­sonal rea­sons”. Be­fore De­cem­ber 7 PIA had been crash-free for 10 years, and re­ceived a 7 out of 7 rat­ing on the highly-cited Air­lineRat­ings.com, which launched its an­nual list­ing in 2013. But a 2014 anal­y­sis by US statis­ti­cian Nate Sil­ver based on data from 1985-2014, found the air­line to have had a con­sis­tently high num­ber of what he termed “nearmisses”-an in­di­ca­tor of risk.— AFP

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