IHC takes exception to govt plan to let US firm run PIA hotel

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday disposed of a petition against reported government plans to privatise the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) Roosevelt Hotel located in New York.

Justice Amir Farooq of the high court wrapped up the case after a federal law officer informed him that the government is not going to privatise the national flag carrier’s asset in the heart of global commercial and tourism hub.

Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mahmood said that the hotel will be handed over to an American firm to run it through a joint venture.

Justice Amir Farooq said the court will issue a detailed verdict with appropriate directives later on.

Taking a strong exception to the government’s plan to let a US firm to run the hotel, he asked if there was dearth of talent or chartered accountants in Pakistan that foreigners are being showered with favours.

This is not a matter of an individual but a national asset, he observed, questioning if the country lacks experienced people who can turn the loss-making hotel into a profitable business.

The deputy attorney general assured the court that the government will ensure merit in the process.

On July 5, sources had told that the federal government has decided to shelve the plan of privatization of Roosevelt Hotel.

The government decided to keep the legally questionable decision of privatisation of Roosevelt Hotel in New York on the back burner after it was advised by legal adviser to stay away from the controversial plan.