UAE Ambassador honors Pakistani pilot of first ever Emirates flight

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The Ambassador of UAE in Islamabad. Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, receives and honors Captain Fazal Ghani Mian, pilot of the first flight in the history of the Emirates Airline operated from Dubai to Karachi on Oct. 25, 1985. (Source: UAE Embassy in Islamabad twitter account)
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The Ambassador of UAE in Islamabad. Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, receives and honors Captain Fazal Ghani Mian, pilot of the first flight in the history of the Emirates Airline operated from Dubai to Karachi on Oct. 25, 1985. (Source: UAE Embassy in Islamabad twitter account)
Updated 04 July 2018

UAE Ambassador honors Pakistani pilot of first ever Emirates flight

  • In the past three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity

ISLAMABAD: The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, Hamad Obaid Alzaabi, on Tuesday, honored the first ever Emirates Airline flight, Captain (Retd) Fazal Ghani Mian.
Emirates and Pakistan have a shared history tracing back more than 30 years: The airline’s first flight went from Dubai to Karachi on Oct. 25, 1985.
“I came to Dubai on Oct. 1, 1985, and met with Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum and the Emirates Airline Managing Director Maurice Flanagan and their teams. We discussed the tasks ahead and how we wanted to proceed,” said the Pakistan International Airline’s flight Captain Mian.
On Oct. 18, a group of 100 pilots, flight and aircraft engineers and maintenance staff, among others, all came to Dubai to initiate the planning stages. “I was also tasked to train UAE National pilots. They were trained in Dubai and got their commercial licenses from the Civil Aviation Authority in Pakistan,” said Mian, while sharing his experience in a video of the Emirates’ 30th anniversary.
“I was blessed to be with very competent professionals to lay the foundation of Emirates” he added.
In the past three decades, Emirates has progressively expanded its operations and offering global connectivity and world-class services to Pakistan’s major cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Sialkot and Multan.
This week, Emirates has announced the deployment of a one-off A380 service to Islamabad starting July 8. The airline’s iconic double-decker will make its inaugural arrival in Islamabad on a special flight EK2524/EK2525, the Emirates News Agency reported.
“We are proud to bring our flagship A380 aircraft to Islamabad,” said Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, divisional senior vice president Commercial Operations Center at Emirates. 


Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

Updated 13 August 2020

Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

  • Spotlight on economy, security as 67 officials take oath in palace ceremony

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa administered the oath of office to 28 new Cabinet ministers and 39 state ministers on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Kandy Royal Palace, a week after the Aug. 5 general elections.

“The Cabinet has been formed in a pragmatic and a realistic manner to implement the national program. Special attention was paid to national security, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and sports,” a Presidential Secretariat statement said.

While President Rajapaksa retained the defense portfolio, his brother, Namal Rajapaksa — the 34-year-old son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — was named minister for youth and sports.

Several senior politicians, including former president Maithripala Sirisena, were left out of the new Cabinet.

The ninth parliament is set to meet on Aug. 20.

Only two members from minority communities, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, were appointed from the Tamil and Muslim communities, respectively.

“I’m delighted to get this portfolio in recognition of my services to the nation, particularly to the legal field,” Sabry said.

He is the second Muslim justice minister to assume office after Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, led by PM Rajapaksa, polled 6,853,690, or 59 percent of votes, and secured a total of 145 seats in parliament, including 17 of the National List seats.

Sabry said government efforts to limit the coronavirus pandemic had “impressed the nation enough to vote them into power.”

Lawyer Razik Zarook said: “It’s a great victory for the Muslim community. The era of mistrust and suspicion is over, and the foundation is laid to build the bridges of friendship and amity.”

However, international political lobbyist Muheed Jeeran told Arab News that though the Cabinet is promising, it is “full of confusion.”

“Sabry’s appointment has disappointed the nationalist group who want to implement one nation, one law,” he said.

“But it is a joyful moment for Muslims who supported the SLPP. However, it will be difficult for Sabry as justice minister. Will he become the wooden handle of the axe to chop the tree of traditional Muslim laws as per the nationalist agenda, or will he stand for Muslim rights?”