Washington: A delegation of senior Pakistani military officials visiting the US was deboarded from a plane, detained, "interrogated and rudely treated" by security
officials after one of them made a comment to a flight
attendant, prompting the team to head home in protest.
The nine-member delegation of high-ranking Pakistani
officers boarded United Airlines Flight 727 from the Dulles
International Airport in Washington to Tampa yesterday, but
were pulled off the plane, Mike Trevino, spokesman for the
Airlines, was quoted as saying by `The Washington Post`.
He said they were deboarded from the plane after one of
them "made a comment to a flight attendant."
The delegation was to travel to Tampa, a Gulf Coast Bay
city in the state of Florida, to attend the annual conference
of the US-Pakistan Military Consultative Committee.
Though the spokesman refused to provide details,
Pakistani officials said the remark came from a General in the
The General, weary of a long day of travel that began in
Islamabad, said "I hope this is my last flight," or words to
That sparked a call to Dulles law enforcement officials,
who "detained the delegation for two-and-a-half hours and
refused to allow the officials to contact their embassy or the
US military officials who had invited them to visit", the Post
quoted an unnamed Pakistani military official as saying.
The Pakistanis were finally released after police at
Dulles determined they did not pose a threat.
But instead of proceeding to Tampa, the delegation was
ordered to return to Pakistan by their military superiors in
Islamabad, in protest of their treatment, the Pakistani
official said, adding that they were "verbally abused."
The Post said the delegation members alleged they were
"interrogated and rudely treated by security officials at
Dulles International Airport."
The officers are scheduled to depart the US this
"Pakistani officials said they received apologies from
Pentagon and Centcom officials," the Post said.
The officers were originally en route to US Central
Command headquarters in Tampa to attend the annual conference,
said Maj David Nevers, a Central Command spokesman.
He said Centcom officials hoped to reschedule the