4 December 2017

    Haseena Begum and her daughter Fouzia Omer, Pakistani origin Norwegians, bound to fly Islamabad-Oslo by PK -771 on 15 April 2017 were brutally thrashed black and blue by FIA Immigration lady staff. In its initial report, which did not surprise at all even one in Pakistan, FIA denied any such incident ever happening which claim was exposed by a video going viral on social media. Later taking side of his staff, Addl. Director FIA stated that the FIA counter staff was manhandled by the two passengers. It was just like Mariam Nawaz in her first interview claiming she had no property in London or Pakistan, but in subsequent talk with the same TV saying she had this and owned that. The Police registered a case against the passengers confiscating their passports. Some of the FIA officials allegedly filmed it on their mobiles when FIA commented that use of the mobile cameras were banned in the briefing hall. A cell phone recorded video showed lady constable grabbing daughter and mother from their hair. Later the father apologized and signed a statement to settle the matter. It was his life’s wisest act otherwise he would had, no wonder, found that the recently “missing PIA airbus” has now been recovered at the airport from the bag of his wife. On the directive of Ch. Nissar the then Minister of Interior, however, an investigation was finally ordered. The mother had asked or complained to the FIA lady constable about non availability of the toilet paper in the bathroom. When later the gravity of the incident flashed on talk shows, the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo moto.

    1. If anything is wrong say at Karachi or Islamabad airport like lack of cleanliness or drinking water, our general masses including the educated blame this mismanagement, as laymen, directly to the PIA. This is due to lack of general awareness. Our masses don’t know that the management of the airports is the responsibility all over the world of the concerned Civil Aviation Authority. PIA like other domestic or international airlines, used Karachi or Islamabad airport by paying prescribed fee. The two lady passengers, under the same general concept, that everyone in the uniform at the airport was the concerned staff, complained to the passing by FIA lady constable. In return, the constable concerned was right in her responding that providing the toilet paper was not her department’s duty but, due to lack of staff professional training, she failed to politely convey this to the passengers and guide them to the CAA Facilitation Counter.

    2. This old man is since 35 years abroad. Being an acute diabetic after hours of air travel, immediately after clearance from Immigration on arrivals in Karachi before collecting baggage I invariably uses the WC and the water cooler. Likewise on departures, after passing through all phases of formalities and reaching in the international departure lounge, I always await the announcement to the passengers. Before proceeding to the flight gate, I invariably use the WC, as well as, a good intake of water. I know how important it is to have a good quantity of water during the flight. Since in-flight mostly enough water is not available, I fill the need through this ritual.

    3. This senior citizen in his age group, generally called “hanging legs in the grave” can practically holding Holy Quran in hand take oath that during his all this 35 year touch-ins, I have not a single time, repeat not a single time, found disposal paper-glasses in the water-dispenser compartment, as is practice world over except one or two pieces used/re-used lying on the top of the dispenser. Likewise, during all this period I have never found toilet tissue papers in the Holds for the purpose, except for a cleaner standing with a tissue box in his hand greeting everyone as “Haji Sahib congratulations” and offering a single sheet.

    4. As a conscientious citizen twice during 1990s, I raised the issue of non availability of disposal glasses and toilet-papers with the Federal Ombudsman. Since a word written on a sheet of paper from a bureaucrat, in our system, holds hundred time more weight than an Affidavited word from we the plumbers, carpenters, drivers working abroad, hence the outcome of these two complaint was same as the initial report of FIA in the case of above two female passengers. Long ago once the Federal Ombudsman saw at the airport struggling to get to get tickets while in the flight there were many seats vacant. He took a suo moto. Such authorities, when themselves personally suffer, they do move but the same issue if coming from an ordinary, usually gets demised for want of “hard documentary” evidence. Justice Jawad S. Khawaja on arrival from Canada faced some discomfort at the airport and taking suo moto shook out the concerned departments on the topic of “facilities to the Overseas Pakistanis”. To my memories he faced shortage of trolleys. This senior citizen wondered as to why he suffered because such VIPs always had protocol at airports that is why they never “knew” the toilets had toilet papers or water dispensers glasses or not. Since these “notice taking authorities” did not experience such tissues, anything said by an ordinary like me gets wasted before the scared words of CAA etc. In this suo moto by Mr. Jawad S. Khawaja, I prayed to include the issue of toilet paper and glasses. I don’t know what was the final outcome of the said suo moto. I can’t find if through surfing the net. My requests separate to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation never met with even an acknowledgement let alone copy of final outcome or any brief over that. Yes, one thing I definitely know and that is last time my eyes saw four disposable used glasses at a time resting on the dispenser.

    5. Seeing “on the facebook and twitter” the appreciable activeness of our Honourable Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis who is starving hard to care for the Overseas Pakistanis, it is for this senior citizen eve unthinkable that so ever caring Grievance Commissioner would not had taken heard of cries of two Overseas Pakistani passenger arising not far from but from the Islamabad airport and taken immediate and prompt on priority” notice of the humiliation and the cries. CJP took suo moto, but it was much later when the issue continuously surfaced in talk shows, while the Grievance Commissioner being for the Overseas Pakistanis, I am sure, must already had taken notice, logically, well before the suo moto. Hence the SC suo moto had no “halting” effect on the notice taken by the Grievance Commissioner and the Finding of the Honourable Grievance Commissioner on the issue must have by now come out.

    6. Despite extensively surfing, I am unable to find the final outcome of the SC’s suo moto and that of any by the Grievance Commissioner. This senior citizen is also unable to find answer what action “on the spot” One Window Counter for Overseas Pakistani established with much publicity campaign to protect the two victims. There is also a separate independent OFP Help Desk inside departure lounge, what it did for the two ladies and the MD OPF when his airport Help Desk sent report of the incident? There is a worthless monthly magazine “Yaran-e-Watan” manned by a large army from the OPF. I perused even this Monthly claimed to be for the Overseas Pakistanis, did not have even a single word covering the humiliation of two Overseas Pakistanis passengers let alone any outcome of the SC suo moto or that of Grievance Commissioner. I dare blame our anchors too for not the “final” outcome of the efforts by SC, Grievance Commissioner, OPF, FIA, CAA and the Police. Real practical actions taken against the FIA staff or the concerned mother daughter passengers based on the final findings, by the SC, the Grievance Commissioner, OPF and Police would not just give a message of safety to the Overseas Pakistanis but also a sense of protection to Government staff, as the case may be. Hence making these Findings public is the cry of the time.