Irate passengers in Pak force 'VIPs' off plane for delaying flight
16 September 2014
Air passengers in India who have experienced the frustration of having their flights held up due to the late arrival of a 'VIP' passenger might want to take a leaf from the book of their Pakistani neighbours.
Angry passengers on board an Islamabad-bound Pakistan International Airways (PIA) flight from Karachi forced two prominent Pakistani politicians off the plane, accusing them of holding it up.
PIA's flight PK-370 was scheduled to depart from Karachi's Jinnah International Airport at 7 pm on Monday, but according to passengers on board it started two hours late.
Opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader and former interior minister Rehman Malik and a ruling Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) member of the National Assembly Dr Ramesh Kumar Wakwani allegedly arrived two hours after the scheduled boarding time but the angry passengers shooed them off the plane.
The entire episode was uploaded on a French video sharing website called Daily Motion by one of the passengers on board the flight. It then found its way on YouTube.
Around six to eight passengers can be seen assembled near the gateway, which connects the terminal to the aircraft. They can be heard raising slogans and heckling the two.
They then demand that the crew close the door and start the flight. But the crew refused to do so leading to more commotion and more passengers crowding the gateway.
Irritated by the VIP culture one of the passengers can be heard saying, "We have taken it for too long ... 68 years ... are we going to take it for another 68 years?"
Another says, ''My foot VIP. Don't you worry. I will grill him when he comes in.''
When Malik enters the gateway, one of the passengers told Malik to go back.
"Malik sahab, sorry. You should go back. You should apologise to these passengers. You should be ashamed of yourself ... 250 passengers have suffered because of you. It is your fault, sir."
Malik then walked away without confronting the passengers.
But Wakwani refused to budge and proceeded to his seat, only to be sent off after a series of altercations.
The flight crew and the airline claimed a 'technical issue' had delayed the flight.
PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar said, PIA does not promote VIP culture ... but this flight was delayed an hour and 30 minutes due to a technical reason.''
Malik also tweeted later that he had nothing to do with the delay. But this does not explain why he and Wakwani arrived for their flight almost two hours behind schedule expecting to catch the flight.