ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat has recommended removal of four officials found guilty of misbehaviour at Islamabad Airport and initiation of criminal proceedings against them.
Rana Muhammad Hayat chaired the meeting on Thursday. The committee members came hard on officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Airport Security Staff (ASF) for mishandling the case and “bringing bad name to the country at international level”.
Hayat also admonished the FIA, ASF representatives for making contradictory statements about the incident that occurred on April 18 at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport where the staff allegedly misbehaved and thrashed Norwegian women of Pakistani descent.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Asad Umar commented that it was an unlawful act to deny any passenger boarding a flight having valid passport and visa while “physically assaulting someone is a criminal offence and criminal proceedings should be initiated against those officials”.
Other MNAs also backed Umar and demanded that only disciplinary action would not suffice but criminal charges be filed against them for internationally defaming the country.
Earlier, the FIA official informed the committee that non-availability of tissue papers in a washroom triggered the incident at the airport. He said tissue papers were missing from the washroom when one of the Norwegian women asked the FIA officer about it and added that they badmouthed not only about the staff woman but also used foul language against the country.
To this an official of the ASF chipped in commenting that actually that staff woman was bringing tissue papers for washroom when those women asked her about toilet papers before entering the washroom.
“She replied: ‘do I look like a sweeper?’” the officer commented, stating that then both started exchanging harsh words which later led to the physical assault which should not have happened on their part.
To this Airport Manager Amanullah rose from his seat and refuted both the claims and stated that it were janitorial staff who were carrying the toilet paper and they exchanged harsh words after coming out of the toilet.
The reply infuriated Hayat, who said such incompetency on the part of ASF and FIA that their statements did not match.
“I have written to the prime minister that Pakistan International Airlines has already become a drug-smuggling service, why are you people disgracing the country which such acts?”
The PTI lawmaker asked whether the FIA probe committee was looking into the particular incident and also the attitude problem that seemed to be endemic in the staff.
He again stated that the inquiry should not only charge the four officials for misconduct but also file criminal charges.
The FIA official stated that they were holding the inquiry and would see (into the recommendations of the committee to remove the staff).
The chairperson of the committee also suggested that an FIR should be registered against the janitorial staff found guilty of negligence.
Later, the committee also lambasted PIA officers who did not come to the committee fully prepared about the details about the purchase of airplanes on wet lease and dry lease — including details financial losses to the national flag carrier.