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Pakistan Validates Licenses Of Most Pilots Working For Foreign Airlines

FILE: The wreckage of a state-run Pakistan International Airlines, Airbus A320 lies amid houses days after it crashed in the southern seaport city of Karachi in May 24.

Pakistani authorities said on July 16 they had confirmed the credentials of almost all Pakistani pilots working for foreign airlines, amid a scandal over flying certificates that has caused a global alert.

Pakistan grounded 262 pilots for "dubious" qualifications last month, following an airliner crash in Karachi in May in which 98 people were killed.

The initial investigation concluded the pilots had failed to follow standard procedures and disregarded alarms.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement on July 16 it had received requests from 10 countries for validation of 176 pilots working for foreign airlines.

It said 166 of them “have been validated as genuine and certified…as having no anomaly," while the remaining 10 will have their process completed by next week.

The 10 countries in question included the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait.

The statement also said that out of the 262 grounded pilots, the licenses for 28 pilots have been cancelled, and a process of verification for another 76 was under way.

The scandal has prompted the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to suspend the authorization for Pakistan’s national flag carrier and a smaller private Pakistani airline to operate in Europe for six months

Britain and the United States also revoked landing rights for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

With reporting by Reuters and AFP