PIA’s management has issued another statement confirmed once again about the termination of Mr Zia Qadir Qureshi, its former COO. The statement revealed that Zia Qadir was given special permission to work beyond the age of 60 but it was subject to a bi-annual review of his performance against key performance indicators (KPIs).
The review of Mr Qureshi’s performance showed that the team Zia Qadir set up to develop the business plan was unable to deliver and as a result, a new team had to be established that finally developed both the business and the operating plans. Despite this, Mr Qureshi claims to have authored the plan himself.
Another area where Zia Qadir failed to deliver was aircraft acquisition. Mr Qureshi missed critical deadlines of inducting new aircraft into PIA’s fleet which was outlined in the business plan. Likewise, both the ‘transformation project’ and the ‘costs savings project’, which were his major KPIs, failed to get off the ground altogether. Failing to induct new aircraft had a knock on effect on PIA operations and the effects were visible during Hajj period.
Mr Qureshi was expected to lead the development and implementation of a transformation program for PIA however despite being in the role for 14 months he has failed to deliver any results in this area. Mr Qureshi initially set up a transformation team without following any due process of selection, which subsequently led to a disciplinary investigation after reports were leaked that he favoured a female crew member, misused his authority and violated company procedures, which resulted in misuse of company funds totalling an amount of PKR 850,000. This investigation would have lead to a show cause notice being issued to Mr Qureshi had his employment not been terminated.
The statement further outlines that as Head of the ‘New Islamabad Airport Readiness project’, Mr Qureshi failed to effectively oversee the opening of the Islamabad Airport, which ultimately resulted in the project being reassigned to another member of the team.
As a result of these failures, in April 2018 Mr Qureshi was effectively sidelined from the role of Chief Operating Officer and moved to Chief Corporate Development Officer. His title was not changed due to his contract terms, however, Mr Zulqarnain Mehdi was appointed a Chief Daily Operations Officer to carry out the duties that were within Mr Qureshi’s purview as Chief Operating Officer.
In view of this, PIA could not afford to continue with the huge financial layout on Mr Qureshi without any significant contribution from him. In summary, the tasks that were assigned to him had to be taken away and reassigned due to lack of progress or failure to deliver.
PIA is constrained to share the details about the reasons for terminating Mr Qureshi’s contract in order to respond to false allegations and misleading statements contained in a letter purportedly authored by Mr Qureshi, which has been leaked to the media.
PIA reserves the right to take legal action against any false allegations against it, and the propagation of such false allegations.