CHITRAL: The district administration has ordered to seal Fokker Friendship Restaurant near Chitral airport citing safety concerns for the airport.
The disabled Fokker aircraft was abandoned by PIA after it met with an accident following landing at the airport from Islamabad on July 16, 2004.
On landing, the aircraft did not stop before the end of the runway. It overran, lost its undercarriage and propeller blades before coming to rest in a rock field. Nobody was injured but the aircraft was written off.
Former PIA captain Shahzada Siraj Ulmulk, the owner of Hindukush Height hotel, later set up a resraurant in the aircraft.
A notification issued by Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral Khurshid Alam Mahsud on Saturday said Mr Siraj was directed to remove the aircraft from the spot as it posed serious security threat to the operation of the airport. But he did not remove the aircraft and also failed to produce documents as proof of its ownership.
He said the chief operating officer/airport manager on Dec 13, 2018, had issued notice to Mr Siraj.
He said now directions have been issued to seal the Fokker Friendship Restaurant until Mr Siraj removes the disabled aircraft from the premises. The sealing order will remain effective from April 26, 2019 to May 25, 2019, unless withdrawn or modified, he said.
However, social media activists criticized the sealing of the restaurant and said the DC had taken the step after Shahzada Siraj exposed the district administration’s total failure in disposing of trash and garbage littered at Qaqlasht during the recent festival there.