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Pakistani delegation leaves U.S. in protest

WASHINGTON – A delegation of senior Pakistani military officials visiting the United States for a major defense conference headed home in protest Tuesday night after they said they were interrogated and rudely treated by security officials at Dulles International Airport.

The nine-member group of high-ranking Pakistani officers boarded United Airlines Flight 727 from Washington to Tampa, Fla., late Sunday but were pulled off the plane after one of them “made a comment to a flight attendant,” said Mike Trevino, a United spokesman.

United did not provide details, but Pakistani officials said the remark came from a general in the delegation who – weary of a long day of travel that began in Islamabad – said, “I hope this is my last flight,” or words to that effect.

That sparked a call to Dulles law enforcement officials, who detained the delegation for 2.5 hours.

The Pakistanis were finally released after police at Dulles determined they did not pose a threat.


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