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2 killed, 12 injured in clashes between PIA staff, police

Law enforcement agencies denied that they had opened fire on protesters.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said protesting employees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be fired from service and can be sent to jail for a year.

Tuesday’s violence and employees strike, however, did not cause any significant disruption in flight operations or at PIA offices across Pakistan.

Talking to media, after the provocation of act, Information minister Pervaiz Rashid said “Any employee taking part in the strike will lose his job as we have arranged alternate staff and pilots to run the airline”.

He said a few PIA flights landed at Lahore airport on Wednesday morning, although services of “employees of a private company” were used to handle the arriving flights.

PIA has lost 750 million rupees ($7.2 million) over the past week since the protests resumed, spokesman Gilani said by phone on Monday.

Dr. Seemi Jamali, the head of Karachi’s Jinnah Hospital, told reporters that two of five injured protesters admitted to the hospital had succumbed to severe bullet wounds.

Those deceased have been identified as Inayat Raza and Saleem Akbar.

Two employees including a member of PIA’s engineering department have died in the incident.

Many airports in Pakistan are witnessing a travel chaos as protesting employees of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) blocked operations in protest against proposed privatisation of the national flag carrier.

PIA has been running into losses for years and government says it was not possible to turn around it with the current system of management.

Earlier, Deputy Inspector General East Kamran Fazal said bullet casings were collected to ascertain who opened fire on the protesters.

The strategy worked as hardly any flight was cancelled until 11am when around 1,000 PIA employees started the march playing on a truck-mounted megaphone a provocative song, “Tere Baap Ki Nahi Hai PIA“.

The Rangers Public Relations Officer said in an official statement, “No Rangers personnel has fired to control the protest at Jinnah Terminal today”.

Eight other injured protesters had also been admitted for treatment, he said.

Protesters gather outside the PIA headquarters to protest privatization

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