Singapore Airlines sacks staff, shuts Pak opns
Lahore, Mar 20: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has closed its operations in Pakistan due to the deteriorating security condition in the country.
According to a private television channel, the airlines, which had four flights a week from Pakistan to Singapore, has closed its offices and sacked its entire staff, The Daily Times reports.
Several multi-national companies (MNC's) have stopped their operations in Pakistan, which has seen a considerable increase in violence and bloodshed over the past two years.
The troubled nation has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of suicide attacks carried out across the country and loss of life during the first 70 days of 2010 compared to the same period last year.
According to the available facts and figures, at least 15 incidents of suicide bombings have taken place so far in the first 70 days of this year (between January 1 and March 12), while 11 assaults were carried out in first 70 days of 2009.
The suicide bombings in 2010 have left 321 people dead and injured over 500, with the daily average killing rate of four and a half people and the weekly killing rate of 10 people.
During the same period in 2009, 105 people were killed. The year had proved to be the bloodiest as at least 1,217 people were killed and 2,305 injured in 80 attacks.
According to the data compiled by the Punjab Home Department, 145 people were killed in five incidents of suicide bombings in January this year; another 101 people lost their lives in seven such attacks in February while 75 people have so far been killed in the first 12 days of March.
Authorities investigating the bombings are of the view that most of the attacks have been carried out by the Punjabi Taliban belonging to four Jihadi groups working in tandem with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.