A Norwegian family, including a woman and her two daughters, who were manhandled by immigration officials at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) here on April 15, were offloaded from a Doha-bound flight at Peshawar Airport on Friday.
A senior official of the FIA told mediathat since an investigation into the airport incident was underway the family was stopped from leaving the country to assist the inquiry and to record their statements.
According to official sources, Umar Khalid, his wife Haseena and two daughters - Fauzia Khalid and Fatima Khalid - residents of Nowshera, were offloaded by the FIA immigration staff when they attempted to board a Qatar Airways flight for Doha from Peshawar Airport at 8am on Friday.
The offloading orders said: “Four passengers checked on flight scheduled to depart to Doha at 8am were offloaded due to ‘immigration’ and all their hold baggage have been offloaded.”
On the directive of the secretary aviation, a team has been constituted by Director General (DG) Airport Security Force (ASF) Major General Sohail Ahmed Khan to probe the incident at BBIA.
The inquiry team comprises Director Chaudhry Ilyas from ASF headquarters, Colonel Kashif Ikram, director intelligence, and deputy director ASF Mohammad Asim Khan Lodhi to probe the scuffle between the immigration staff and the women passengers and to submit a report within three days (on Monday).
The team on Friday interviewed the ASF officials who were on duty at the airport when the two women passengers were assaulted by a woman official at the departure lounge.
A source close to the investigation said the ASF team would not be able to get the CCTV images from the FIA immigration counter as the latter had recently replaced the ASF cameras with its own.
The CCTV image provided by the immigration only showed the woman passengers arguing with the immigration staff.
However, the source said the ASF inquiry team would interview/question the PIA special task force incharge and vigilance staff of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who were on duty at the time of the incident.
In addition, the inquiry team will also record the statements of the two women who were manhandled at the airport besides reviewing the duty chart of the FIA constable Ghazala Shaheen as she was not in the departure lounge when the scuffle broke out.
The family was traveling to Oslo/Copenhagen in PIA flight PK-771 and had received their boarding cards when the incident occurred at the immigration counter.
The FIA in an earlier inquiry had found three immigration officials - two women constables and the shift incharge - guilty and served them with a charge sheet.
Mazharul Haq, the director FIA Islamabad, confirmed that constables Ghazala Shaheen, Noshila and shift incharge Nadeem Akhtar had been suspended and served with a charge sheet.
He said the action was taken after the inquiry officer, Ahmed Mukaram, director admin FIA, submitted his report in which the two women constables were found guilty. He said the shift incharge had failed to handle the situation.
He said Pervez Imrani, another senior official, had been assigned to initiate an inquiry against the three officials and submit a report within seven days.