The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has advised Pakistan to undertake "immediate corrective actions" and suspend the issuance of any new pilot licenses in the wake of a scandal over falsified licenses, according to an official and a document seen by Reuters.
The recommendations from ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport, come days after Pakistan opened a criminal probe into 50 pilots and five civil aviation officials who allegedly helped them falsify credentials to secure pilot licences.
"Pakistan should improve and strengthen its licensing system to ensure that it takes into account all necessary processes and procedures and prevents inconsistencies and malpractices before new licenses are issued and privileges of suspended licenses are re-established," said ICAO, in a previously unreported letter to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) last week.
A Pakistani aviation ministry official told Reuters that the country has not issued any new licenses since July, in the wake of the scandal.
A PCAA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.