Interpol approached over threatening emails: Rashid

Says int'l agency contacted to probe 12 emails and their "India-Singapore links"; adds "there'll be good news soon"

Our Correspondent September 27, 2021


Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Monday that the government was in contact with the Interpol over the threatening emails sent to the New Zealand cricket team that resulted in the cancellation of the tour hours before the first ODI.

The interior minister said the Interpol has been contacted to probe into 12 emails sent to the NZ team and their "India-Singapore links". "There will be good news soon," the minister said while addressing a news conference.

One of the emails was sent from an associated device in India using VPN, showing the IP address or location of Singapore. "The device RMX 1971 (Realme) used 13 email IDs and except for Hamza Afridi, the 12 other email IDs had Indian/Hindi names," the minister had said in an earlier press conference.

Fake news generated by India led to the shock cancellation of New Zealand cricket team’s tour of Pakistan, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said last week, describing the plot as part of a fifth generation hybrid warfare against the country, in a presser he addressed with Rashid.

Read ECP serves notices on Swati, Fawad

Speaking about the differences between the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the government over the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the minister said that both the sides had started mending fences. He added that the issue will be resolved soon.

Rashid said that Prime Minister Imran was committed to ensuring fair elections in Pakistan through the use of the EVMs.

According to Rashid, the interior ministry has forwarded a list of 15 countries to the federal cabinet to approve on-arrival visas for their nationals. These countries include the US, Iran, Russia, Canada and

France among others. After the approval, nationals from 65 countries will be able to visit Pakistan via on-arrival visas.

The minister said the government will reform NADRA and other departments to stamp out fake CNICs and Covid vaccination certificates. He said the government will add 15 more security features on passports to prevent fake copies, adding that e-passports will eventually be introduced to fix the issue once and for all.

He said over 70 million people have been vaccinated so far and 7.5 million vaccination certificates have been issued by NADRA.

New Zealand cricket team flies out of Pakistan amid 'security fears'

The interior minister also spoke about the political environment of the country. He said there was infighting in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), adding that instead of two, the party would split into three factions before the general elections.

He said PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif should worry about his party instead of going after the government.

Rashid said the government would install Integrated Border Management System at the Torkham and Chaman borders, to keep track of arrivals and departures. He said that the number of Afghan nationals leaving Pakistan was greater than the new arrivals.

About security measures on Chehlum, the interior minister said the ministry's command and control centre will be working round the clock. He said that the ministry would suspend mobile services for security reasons if required by the respective provincial administration.

He said that a summary for the approval of on-arrival visas to citizens of 15 countries was being sent to the cabinet including the USA, Canada, France, and Iran as earlier citizens of 50 countries were eligible to get on arrival visas.

He said that the cases of cyber-crime were increasing and the Ministry of Interior had received around 100,000 complaints during his tenure.

Keeping in view the situation the government had decided to immediately release a fund of Rs 2 billion to upgrade this wing for appointing technical persons to get results.

He said that special directions had been issued to National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to have a check on fake Coronavirus vaccine certificates.

He added unfortunately some elements were trying to disrespect the Pakistani identity card, passport, and vaccination which was a pre-planned conspiracy.

The minister said that 15 new security entries had been planned for further safety of passport while CNIC was also being reviewed.

He assured that CNIC, passport, and vaccination would be fully secured.


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