Fake Indian e-mail alerts sabotaged NZ, England cricket tours: Fawad

By: 24 News      Published: 04:55 PM, 22 Sep, 2021
Fake Indian e-mail alerts sabotaged NZ, England cricket tours: Fawad

Pakistan on Wednesday exposed India’s covert hand behind the abandoning of New Zealand and England cricket series and presented before the media those fake threat alerts sent to the NZ cricket board via emails, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry made startling revelations in a press conference at Press Information Department (PID), Islamabad.

Explaining the context, Fawad Chaudhry said, “On August 19, 2021, a Facebook post appeared in the name of Ehsanullah Ehsan (ex-TTP spokesperson) saying that the IS (Islamic State) could target the New Zealand team. After that an article was published in the Indian newspaper Sunday Guardian based on Ehsanullah Ehsan's post.”

Ehsanullah’s post claimed, “The New Zealand Cricket Board should not send their team to Pakistan because the security situation in Pakistan is not good. As far as I know, a global jihadi origination –IS – is looking for a big target in Pakistan. That target could be the NZ cricket team to attract the attention of media and its presence in Pakistan. I know the IS will be angry with me but I like cricket game. Now it is the turn of the NZ Cricket team and government to think (over it) very seriously.”

Bureau Chief of Sunday Guardian (India-based newspaper) Abhinandan Mishra wrote the article on the FB post of ex-TTP spokesperson.

Fawad Ch said Abhinandan was a close aide to Amrullah Saleh (former vice-President of Afghanistan).

Then, on August 24, a proton email was sent to the wife of Martin James Guptill (New Zealand cricketer) that her husband could be targeted in Pakistan. 

The Information Minister said that an email account was created on the same day (August 24). This account was created on Proton Web Server, which is considered secure.

“After all these threats, the New Zealand team did delay their visit and reached Pakistan on September 17. The NZ team was given foolproof security including two helicopters. They also did net-practice in Pakistan and had no problem with security,” Fawad Ch explained.

The minister further explained that on Sept 17, the NZ team said they had received instructions from the New Zealand government to cancel the visit due to security concerns but had not shared any threats with the Pakistan government.

“Following the cancellation announcement made by the NZ team, the security agencies and the ICT administration contacted and asked to share the threat alert but nothing came out of it,” he said. 

After that, on Sept 18, Interpol Wellington reported and informed Pakistan about a gmail ID from hamzaafridi7899 @gmail.com. “The ID was created on Sept 18 and only 15 minutes after creating the ID, the creator sent a threatening message to the New Zealand team with the name of Hamza Afridi. The email was created in India via VPN. The IP location was set in Singapore. ”

Fawad Ch revealed that the device from where the Hamza Afridi email was created had 13 registered IDs including 12 on the name of Bollywood films and all were created on the name of Om Prakash. 

He said that it all started with an ex-TTP spokesperson’s fake FB post on August 18 that involved a covert Indian hand in it and that led to the cancellation of the cricket series scheduled to be held in Pakistan. 

Sheikh Rasheed said that all ‘covert hands’ (possible forces) behind the cancellation of cricket series in Pakistan would meet with failure.

He said Interior Ministry registered an FIR on the New Zealand cricket series cancellation and details were sent to the Interpol as well for further investigation.   

Sheikh Rasheed said the West Indies team was also coming to Pakistan in December and a threat alert has also been sent to them. “This is not against Pakistan but against the international cricket,” he said. The Interior Minister urged the ICC to look into the matter and once again called upon New Zealand to share the threat alert with Pakistan. 

Reporter Saud Butt