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PK-661’s black box sent to France for decoding

PESHAWAR: The award of a multi-billion rupee contract for a print and electronic media campaign to showcase the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s performance to a company — along with two others — with known ties to a key PTI leader has raised questions about conflict of interest and transparency, documents available with Dawn reveal.

Documents show that in an official letter issued on Oct 20, the information secretary of the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed the three advertising agencies that “in the light of the presentation to the steering committee”, they were authorised to run the publicity campaign of the “special initiatives” undertaken by the KP government.

The decision to grant the contract to advertising agencies had come against the backdrop of a meeting chaired by KP Chief Minister Pervez Khan Khattak on Dec 28, 2015, formulating a policy to regularise the publicity campaign of the government initiatives through print, electronic and other media platforms.

Subsequently, the informa­tion department invited adver­tising agencies to submit their profiles by April 18, 2016. A total of 10 advertising agencies presented their proposals at a meeting chaired by Adviser to the CM on Information Mushtaq Ghani.

Out of the 10, the performance of four advertising agencies registered with the information department was deemed “appropriate and up to the mark”.

The agencies shortlisted at the time on April 18, 2016,did not include the advertising agency Javed Faisal Khan, PTI’s additional secretary infor­mation and head of its Social Media & Marketing at the Chairman Secretariat, once served.

According to minutes of the meeting, “after obtaining the expert opinion of Mr Iftikhar Durrani and Faisal Javed, it was decided that the top four agencies though declared appropriate, do not have the capacity to run an effective publicity campaign”.

Mr Durrani is the head of the central media department at the PTI secretariat in Islamabad. The party’s chief spokesman, Naeemul Haq, said that Mr Durrani was not a party office-bearer but a RAWALPINDI: The Safety Investigation Board (SIB) has sent the flight data recorder, commonly known as the black box, of the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-661 that crashed near Havelian on Dec 7 to France for decoding.

All 47 people on board were killed in the crash.

“After getting the black box decoding report, the investigator will lift the debris from the crash site and will shift it to BBIA to find out what actually caused the plane crash,” Aviation Division Secretary Irfan Elahi told Dawn.

He said that the work to lift the debris of the ATR-42 plane would start soon. “Basically, the black box decoding report will identify the real cause of the plane crash and the investigators will start their work from that point while assessing the specific areas of the crashed plane as per the report,” he said.

On the other hand, the site alongside the runway had been selected to dump the debris and wreckage of the ATR-42, which the authorities said would be removed soon from the crash site. Experts of France-based turboprop aircraft manufacture ATR who had been in Islamabad since last Monday to assist Pakistani authorities investigating the ATR-42 plane crash had left for France on Saturday.

They had held meetings with officials concerned and visited the crash site, some 80 kilometres north of Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

A senior official told Dawn that the French company is preparing its report on the plane crash and it had interviewed some officials and reviewed record of the air control tower.

He said that experts from the engine manufacturing company also arrived in the country and brought some pieces of the ATR’s engine with them to make analysis report. They would send the report soon.

Sources close to the investigation told Dawn that the investigators were assessing the things like engine failed, pilot reduced speed, dropped altitude, free fall due to structure damage, pilot shut down the engine and shut down the malfunctioned engine and what seemingly happened in the incident.

They said the investigators got initial report from the ACT that flight signalled an engine failure at 4.12pm at 13,375 feet height. However, they said as soon as the engine failure was reported, the aircraft started descending and within a minute the PK-661 disappeared from the radar.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for PIA said that six ATR flights were operated on Monday — PK-605 (Islamabad-Gilgit), PK-606 (Gilgit-Islamabad), PK-249 (Islamabad-Kabul), PK-250 (Kabul-Islamabad), PK-681 (Islamabad-Multan) and PK-682 (Multan-Islamabad). He said Gilgit and Chitral flights on C-130 were operated on Sunday — PK-605 (Islamabad-Gilgit), PK-606 (Gilgit-Islamabad), PK-660 (Islamabad-Chitral) and PK-661 (Chitral-Islamabad).

courtesy : dawn news

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