ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA, Ramesh Kumar denied that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK- 370 was delayed because of him.
The PML-N MNA spoke to media outside Parliament and clarified that the reason for the delay was a technical fault.
Mr Kumar said the video was released on media without any inquiry. The MNA added that a man along with two of his companions harassed him.
Ramesh Kumar further said that the man who was heard on the video harassing him was affiliated with a political party. Kumar said he was threatened despite his explanation that he had nothing to do with Rehman Malik. He claimed Malik boarded the plane 10 minutes after him.
According to Ramesh Kumar, the captain did not take notice of the harassment. The PML-N also called for an investigation into why security was not called.
Passengers of PK-370 who waited for about two hours for a flight from Karachi to Islamabad to take off forced former Interior Minister Rehman Malik and PML-N MNA Dr Ramesh Kumar off the PIA plane for causing the delay.
PK-370 was scheduled to take off from Karachi at 7pm on Monday but it was delayed for two hour reportedly because of waiting for Rehman Malik and Ramesh Kumar. The angry passengers yelled at Rehman Malik and Ramesh Kumar and bombarded them with several questions asking why they had made them wait for so long.
A video clip uploaded on a social networking site shows that the angry passengers forced Ramesh Kumar off the plane in spite of his resistance. The passengers shouted slogans of “go back” as he left.
Later, Rehman Malik boarded the aircraft but the passengers screamed at him, “You should apologise to these passengers. You should be ashamed of yourself. 250 passengers have been troubled because of you. You should go back.” The senator left the plane.
However, in a Twitter message, Rehman Malik on Tuesday denied the flight delay allegations levelled at him. He pointed out a PTI activist who stirred up the ruckus on the plane. Meanwhile, PIA suspended two employees over the delayed take-off.
PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar said that shift manager Nadeem Abro and terminal manager Shehzad were suspended due to the delayed take-off of PK-370. He said that initial delay was due to technical reasons, but the plane was delayed for a further 15 to 20 minutes.
Later, Tajwar cleared, “The flight was not delayed because of Rehman Malik. PIA does not promote VIP culture but this flight was delayed for an hour and 30 minutes due to a technical reason. The delay had been conveyed to passengers via SMS. Some passengers who had given the contact details of their travel agent may not have been conveyed the message by their agents.”