ISLAMABAD - Taking inspiration from Pakistans seemingly corrupt bureaucratic government institutions, an international organisation has perhaps found 'backdoor and stealthy payments a convenient way for enhancing public relations instead of following fair rules of the game. It happened on Friday at the conclusion of Three Day Joint Workshop for Police and Media to Build Confidence, funded by European Union and implemented by German International Cooperation (GIZ) under its programme Civilian Capacity Building for Law Enforcement in Pakistan (CCBLE). To the utter surprise of many, the organisers of the workshop, soon before its conclusion, reportedly called the senior police officer participant in private and 'stealthily paid Rs 17,000 to Rs 20,000. The police officers were reportedly shocked when a top official from the workshop management came to them and reportedly whispered in their ears one after another, Dont tell journalists or anybody that we paid you money okay? The flabbergasted cops, 'for the time being, assured the organisers that the matter would be kept secret. Nine senior journalists from mainstream national media who were 'deprived of this 'payment privilege and six senior police officers from different parts of the country attended the workshop. The EU media officer in Pakistan Ayesha Babar was called at her cell number on Friday to get European Unions version on the issue but neither she responded nor did she return the calls. Reportedly, moments after the Friday workshop ended at the basement of CCBLE building and participants gathered at the ground floor where lunch was to be served, the six police officers were quietly asked by the EU and GIZ officials to go upstairs at first floor where the cash 'prizes were awaiting them. The journalists say that for them not getting a payment at a workshop is no big deal but the way these backdoor payments were made to police officers is really condemnable and shameful. If anybody was to be paid, it should have been announced by the management very clearly beforehand. Such secretive and unannounced payments are something that sink far below the belt of a reputed international organisation like EU, some journalists who attended the workshop said. It is questionable as to why secretive payments were made to police officers when they are officially entitled to hefty travel and duty allowance (TADA) to be paid by their parent organisation during outstation assignments. We accepted the cash out of courtesy but we were shocked to see that an organisation like European Union would pay us money like this. The cash payments were unannounced and were paid in an absolutely bizarre manner. Not only that the journalists were not paid, the workshop organisers had the audacity to tell us not to disclose this happening to media or anybody. It was really bizarre, senior police officials privy to this odd development shared with The Nation. Michael Schulte-Shrepping, senior advisor of the CCBLE programme delivered lectures during the workshop and Andre Heinrichs, head of the programme supervised the event. A senior superintendent of police (SSP), two superintendents of police (SPs) two deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), and a public relations officer (PRO) to Inspector general (IG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police participated in the workshop from Peshawar, Faisalabad, Kasur and interior Sindh. This is the fourth incident occurred in recent past whereby the international community has been found in unwanted activities. Last month, an INGO announced irregularities in one of its programmes and resolved to share the findings of these irregularities with the media in three weeks but the matter lands in abeyance. Two warehouses, those of an international organisation and an INGO each, were gutted in the I-sector of Islamabad but no action or inquiry was initiated against responsible elements. Now, it is the European Union found indulged in an activity that does not live up to its integrity and reputation.