RDS_190722 No baggage-wrap policy in Pakistan-1563790230535
Yesterday, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority had announced that wrapping all check-in baggage was now mandatory. (Image for illustrative purpose) Image Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Less than a day after making plastic wrapping over all check-in luggage mandatory at all Pakistan airports, the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Sunday night withdrew its decision after it drew criticism from frequent flyers and environmentalists.

Tweep @furqantsiddiqui posted: “Power of social media. The notification of compulsory wrapping of check-in baggage has been cancelled at all airports in #Pakistan.”

Minister clarifies

Shireen Mazari, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Human Rights took to Twitter a few times on Sunday to clarify that no such decision was taken by the federal government.

She also tweeted a picture of the fresh notice to announce the withdrawal of the incorrect notification.

@ShireenMazari1 posted: “The incorrect notification withdrawn — as I had said this morning it was never a federal govt decision. Will ask to have an inquiry as to how and who in the CAA put out such a notification. All bureaucracy should know that Federal Government means Cabinet. This issue was never discussed!”

The incorrect notification

Earlier on Sunday, media reports said that Shahrukh Nusrat, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), had said that wrapping baggage was now mandatory, and it was being done for safety purposes.
“For this purpose, new plastic-wrapping machines are being installed on an urgent basis,” he had added.

Frequent travellers immediately took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the measure.

Even the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf politician Jahangir Tareen tweeted: “Just came across a very illogical notification issued by the CAA. Forcing passengers to wrap their luggage is not on. People should have the right to decide whether they want their luggage wrapped or not. The notification should be withdrawn asap.”

Others suggested the quantity of plastic that would be needed was wasteful.

@nowshera posted: “Mandatory plastic wrapping of checked baggage seems a clumsy, illogical and counterproductive step by CAA which might promote pollution, cause damage to the environment and contradictory to PTI policy of Clean and Green Pakistan. Environmentalists have to take note of it.”

And, @faisal_qafhsa posted: “World is adopting zero tolerance towards plastic use while we are doing the opposite. Mandatory wrapping of Check-In baggage at all airports will only create tons of extra plastic waste. Bad move by whosoever sanctioned it.”

Who’s making these rules?

Twitter users reacted to Mazari’s clarification saying whoever was behind the approval and release of the incorrect notification should have his or her name made public.

@adi_khanen: “Would love to hear how this was initiated at first. Who were [the people] involved. Name and shame should be the game.”

And @hwn60 questioned: “Who is running the affairs in #Pakistan? #CAA issues a letter making plastic wrapping of check-in baggage mandatory.... @JahangirKTareen calls in illogical and demands it be withdrawn. Within hours of the tweet the orders are withdrawn. #BananaRepublic”