PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home and tribal affairs department has recommended the sacking of three prosecution directorate officials deported from Thailand recently over ‘sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour’.
A case in this respect has been sent to the chief secretary’s office for action, officials of the home department and directorate of prosecution told Dawn on Wednesday.
They said the three were part of a batch of 25 probationary officers, who were in Bangkok to attend a prosecution training arranged by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US State Department.
A senior official said the officials in question were on probation and since rules were different for them, a removal from service case against them had been forwarded to the chief secretary’s office for necessary action.
Suspects under training in Thailand were deported after incident
Sources said the officials facing the axe included two from Mardan district and one from Waziristan and that they’re charged with calling a hotel maid to their room twice and molesting her.
They said the three were also caught filming girls at a swimming pool and bringing masseurs to their rooms.
Another official claimed district public prosecutor from Kohat Zaheeruddin, who was the supervisor for batch, endorsed the charges.
He added that the trainees were charged by the US embassy in Thailand.
The official said the three also faced a language barrier as none of them knew Thai language and thus, making things difficult for them.
He however said the accused denied charges of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
A prosecution directorate official said a batch of 25 probationary officials left for Thailand on Jan 18.
He said the training began on Jan 20 and the harassment incident occurred shortly thereafter leading to the deportation of the three by Thai authorities.
The official however expressed ignorance about the recommendation for the sacking of the officials, saying it was the domain of the provincial home department, which was the directorate’s parent department.
He said the three officials had been suspended and would be given show causes notices.
The official said the training was provided by the INL and that at least 100 prosecutors had so far attended it.
He said the training was held in Bangkok due to visa-related problems faced by the US trainers.
“The INL also informed us about the harassment incident by email,” he said.
Director general of the provincial prosecution department Adil Sidiq is also in Bangkok following another batch for the same training.
A prosecutor requesting anonymity said the officials sent to Thailand for training course were newly-appointed prosecutors, whose selection had caused resentment among old staff members of the directorate.
He said the US agency had also shared ‘all documentary evidence’ against the officials with the directorate and asked the relevant authorities not to recommend such people for foreign training in future.
“The episode has brought them face to face with a strange situation in which their acquaintances are calling them whether or not they are the officials named for sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour,” he said, adding that he himself received at least three to four such telephonic calls.