Following a security threat alert from its government, New Zealand Cricket had last week called off its Pakistan tour just moments ahead of the first ODI on Friday, September 17. The match was supposed to start at 2.30 PM local time but none of the players from the tourists had reached the ground even till half an hour before the game as they were advised not to leave their rooms.
After the development, Pakistan is being ridiculed all over the world. Amid the embarrassment, the ministers of the Pakistan government and former cricketers are making a failed attempt to clarify and give new statements by blaming others for the cancellation of the tour.
One more name that has been added to this episode is Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who on Wednesday alleged that a threatening email to the New Zealand cricket team was sent from India, prompting New Zealand to cancel their tour of the country. After the New Zealand team cancelled the tour of Pakistan last Friday citing security threats, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday also cancelled the scheduled bilateral series in Pakistan next month.
Pakistan has been claiming that India was behind some of the recent terrorist attacks in the country. India has dismissed these claims as baseless and asked Islamabad to take action against terrorism growing on its soil.
In a press conference on Wednesday with Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chowdhury said that in August, a fake post was created in the name of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan terrorist Ehsanullah Ehsan in which the New Zealand Cricket Board and the government were asked not to send its cricket team to Pakistan or else they would be targeted.
Despite this, the New Zealand cricket team reached Pakistan. Chowdhury said that on the day of the first match, New Zealand officials said that his government was concerned about the danger and cancelled the tour. Dawn News quoted him as saying, “Pakistan Cricket Board officials, the security team of the Ministry of Home Affairs, everyone went to them to share this threat post with us, but they were unaware like us.”
He said that a day later, another threatening mail was sent to the New Zealand team for which Hamza Afridi’s ID was used.
Pakistan made a false claim that the investigating officers had come to know that the email was sent from a device in India. He claimed it was sent through a VPN which showed Singapore instead.
Fawad Chaudhry claimed, “This device was used in India for the threats that were made to the New Zealand team. A fake ID was used but it was sent from Maharashtra.” He said the Home Ministry has registered a case and had sought help from Interpol for information on Tehreek-e-Labbaik ProtonMail and Hamza Afridi’s ID.
He said that the West Indies team will tour Pakistan in December. “It is unfortunate, we believe it is a campaign against international cricket. ICC and other institutions should also pay attention to this,” he said.
He said that the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Rameez Raja, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs will take up the issue at all relevant forums and Pakistan TV will assess the financial loss. Chaudhary said that we are working on it and if our legal team gives permission, then we will take action against ECB.
Courtesy – www.dnaindia.com