ISLAMABAD -  While ordering a thorough probe into the thrashing incident of two women at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA), a National Assembly panel on Tuesday said that the episode apparently started after an FIA official made a video of their (women’s) movement.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior that met under the chair of MNA Rana Shamim Ahmad Khan was of the view that Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) official Ghazala Shaheen had been made scapegoat in the case by dismissing. The penal said that action should be taken against some high-ups of the agency for their negligence.

Last month, a video clip showing thrashing of two Norwegian women of Pakistani origin by a woman FIA official at the immigration lounge of BBIA went viral on social media.  Later, the Supreme Court also took suo motu notice of the incident.

Showing its dissatisfaction over the investigation conducted so far into the incident, the committee directed the Ministry of Interior that an officer not below the rank of DIG should brief the committee about the probe at its meeting being held today (Wednesday).

Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior told the committee that according to some media reports, the woman FIA official involved in the thrashing incident had been dismissed from service. He said that the incident unfolded when the two women demanded toilet tissues from a woman official of the FIA. The situation further turned shoddier when the agency’s immigration staff did not allow the two women to proceed further after they approached the immigration counter.

“How brutally the women were beaten and the incident is shameful,” said PML-N lawmaker Syed Iftikhar-ul-Hasan.

Another lawmaker Naeema Kishwer Khan said that another video had surfaced in which these two women could be seen misbehaving with the FIA officials and the incident needed to be interrogated while keeping in view this angle as well.

Some other lawmakers rebutted the claim of the female legislator and said that in another video clip, a male officer of FIA could be seen taking video of the two women. They said that the incident apparently started because of the taking of the video by the FIA male officer. MQM lawmaker Salman Khan Baloch said that the actual issue was revolving around taking and recording of the women’s video by the FIA male officer.

PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi said that the incident started after taking of video called for a complete investigation into the incident.   “Another serious issue was that an FIR was registered against the women instead of FIA officials. If the video clips did not go viral, no action could have been taken ever,” the PTI lawmaker said.

Another member of the committee said that the FIA woman constable was made the scapegoat and the incident needed to be investigated thoroughly. He said that the high officials deputed at the airport including the shift in-charge and the deputy director immigration could not be given clean chit in the incident.

Meanwhile, the committee through the interior ministry directed Inspector General of Police Sindh AD Khowja to provide security to MQM MNA Salman Khan Baloch, as he was facing life threats from unknown persons. “The IGP will be answerable to the committee for any delay or lapse,” the chair remarked. The lawmaker said that he had been receiving threatening calls from unknown persons. “I have repeatedly asked the Sindh police to provide me proper security but instead the police recently withdrew a guard provided for my security,” he said.

 Some committee members also raised the issue of blockading of CNICs as well as a delay in their issuance. Upon this, the committee directed that the secretary interior, the chairman and the DG NADRA with officers concerned should attend the meeting scheduled for today.

The committee passed two private members’ bills including the Witness Protection, Security and Benefits Bill, 2016 and the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2016, moved by MNA Suriya Asghar. The committee also rejected two other private members’ bills.