ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry held an important press conference on New Zealand’s withdrawal from the recent ODI series in Pakistan, revealing that a threatening email was sent to the Black Caps from India.
Fawad, addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, stated that the situation was created by a fake post by someone claiming to be Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan.
Chaudhry said the device used to send the threatening email to the New Zealand government was owned by a person named Om Prakash Mishra, who is based in Mumbai.
“On September 18, Interpol Wellington told Interpol Islamabad that they have found an email which was generated from a Gmail account of a user named Hamza Afridi at 6:25 New Zealand time. The email threatened the New Zealand team directly of bomb attacks. The ID was created just 15 minutes before the email was sent,” said Chaudhry.
“This email was sent from an associated device in India using VPN, showing IP address of Singapore.
Chaudhry said the device has 13 other IDs as well, all of which are named after Indian movies and songs.
“Only one of these ID’s is named Hamza Afridi, just to show that it has been generated from Pakistan,” said the minister.
Chaudhry revealed the attempts to threat the New Zealand team were initiated by back in August when a fabricated Facebook account named after former Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesperson posted that the ISIS-K was going to target the team when they arrive in September.
After two days, Chaudhry said, an article by Indian journalist, who is closely linked with former Afghanistan minister Emrullah Saleh, got published in the Sunday Guardian titled “New Zealand cricket team may face terrorist attack in Pakistan”.
On August 24, Chaudhry said, New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill’s wife received a threatening email from an account named “email@example.com”. “The email said that Guptill will be killed in Pakistan.”
This email account too was created hours before it generated it first and last message, said the minister.
“Despite these threats, New Zealand arrived in Pakistan and conducted full practice session for two days,” he said.
Chaudhry said the New Zealand team’s security officials, at around 11am on the eve of the first match, told the local authorities that they wanted to cancel the tour.
“When asked they had no idea about the details of the threat and said they were advised by their government to abort the tour,” he said.
Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed about the development minutes after his address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
The minister said the premier contacted his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern and told her that the decision would end up in bitterness and will have a long-lasting negative impact before the tour was finally cancelled.