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Pakistani daily rues political rift over crash probe

Pakistan,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 24 (IANS) A Pakistani daily has described as "agonising" the political rift over the probe into an aircrash here that left 127 people dead.


The Bhoja Air 737, on its maiden flight, went down Friday in stormy weather and burst into flames in Islamabad.


An editorial in the Daily Times said that the latest plane crash "is a bitter reminder of the deadly crash of the Air Blue plane, which occurred only two years ago in the same city".


One of the worst aviation tragedies in Pakistan took place in July 2010 when an Airbus 321 passenger jet operated by the private airline Airblue crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad while coming in to land after a flight from Karachi. All 152 people on board were killed in the accident.


The daily said Tuesday that now "better sense seems to have finally prevailed as Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has announced that all the aircraft of private airlines will be inspected thoroughly one by one".


"However, the statement came after two more aircraft of another private airline narrowly escaped tragedy Sunday. The government has set up a judicial commission comprising two judges and a retired officer to hold an inquiry into Friday's plane crash...," it said.


The editorial, however, added: "...what is agonising is the political rift that has started between the government and the main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over the constitution of the judicial commission to probe the affair".


The PML-N has opposed the commission on the pretext that the chief justice of the Supreme Court has not been consulted.


"At this hour of grief and sadness, the PML-N is expected to behave maturely. It is certainly a bad time to manipulate this issue for political point scoring," said the daily.


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