Olympic ‘visa scam’: Confusion persists despite NADRA clarification

British High Commissioner Adam Thomson assured that the UK trusted Pakistan’s passport issuance system.


Our Correspondent July 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE:


Fresh information indicates that British tabloid The Sun’s undercover “man” in the purported Olympic visa saga could have been able to obtain a Pakistani passport and identity card under the identity of someone with a similar name.


The undercover man, whose name was purportedly ‘Asad Ali’ could have obtained the NIC and passport of one ‘Muhammad Ali Asad’ - who has an entirely different date of birth and place of birth.

While the names are fairly similar, Ali Asad was born in Sahiwal not Lahore.

The Sun had earlier claimed to have broken into a crime ring asserting that by issuing fake passports and visas, Pakistan had given potential terrorists a chance to sneak into Britain along with the country’s Olympic delegation.

Furthermore, the British government denied issuing a visa to ‘Muhammad Ali Asad’ on the days claimed by NADRA and passport authorities, The Express Tribune has learnt.

In its reply to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), however, the UK Border Agency stated: “In response to your fax dated July 25, 2012 … we have a record of a working holiday maker visa being issued to Muhammad Ali Asad, s/o Muhammad Anwar Siddiqui (Date of Birth November 8, 1977). It was issued to passport No J609802 on April 25, 2002; valid until April 25, 2004. [We] have no record of a visa application being made in association with passport No BD1876301.”

UK high commissioner asserts trust in Pakistan

British High Commissioner in Pakistan Adam Thomson assured that the UK trusted Pakistan’s passport issuance system and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and added there was no evidence of anyone travelling to Britain as part of the Olympic visa scandal.

He said the visa scandal issue was of global significance; however, Britain was satisfied with Pakistan’s visa and passport issuance mechanisms. “We are satisfied with the passport issuance system of NADRA and no country is free of defect,” he stated.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the National Press Club (NPC), Thomson said that anyone who was part of the national sports delegation going to take part in UK Olympic had to apply months in advance. “Each and every thing was checked and there was no chance to proceed to the UK on fake documents,” he said.

He accepted that incidents of fake visa seekers were at its high and that last year they found 4,000 fake travelling documents and passports.

He said that every country has visa scam incidents. “We don’t claim to be perfect ourselves of course. There are flaws in passport issuance but it does not mean the whole country is responsible for one incident,’’ he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012. 

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COMMENTS (5)

True Pakistani | 8 years ago | Reply Pakistanis are a peace loving dignified nation but due to international and to some extent internal politics, our image is portrayed as if we are living in a banana republic where nothing is regulated and as if it is centre of worldwide criminal activities. In the recent crisis of Olympics Visa scam, once again facts are being negated by international forces to frame Pakistan. Let's review the facts. 1: Mohammad Ali Asad and Ali Asad are the same names. Atleast we living in Pakistan know that these two names are same. More importantly, both have photos of same individual. If not, can UK authorities confirm where did individual having passport number J609802 went? Do they have travel record of this person leaving UK? Can they share who Ali Asad is? How he obtained UK passport# 506486804? How long he is living in UK? Does he have any family like Father or Mother living in UK? The truth is that Mohammad Ali Asad travelled to UK on his Pakistani passport # J609802. After living in UK for a while, he obtained UK nationality and got a UK passport. To avoid complexity, he changed his name and Date of Birth a little bit. We all know, you can defeat UK identity systems by slightly changing name or Date of Birth which Ali Asad did. Then he was picked by "The Sun" and was brought to Pakistan on 9th July, 2012 along with two reporters of The Sun. Here he approached NADRA registration center at Lahore himself and applied for change of photo on his Old ID that he had obtained in 2002. If this is not the case, can "The Sun" tell us how they got original Card of Ali Asad? Someone in NADRA informed media that they have complete CCTV footage of Ali Asad while he was applying for CNIC. Will "The Sun" like to challenge this video? After getting his CNIC modified, he applied for Passport which he can do being a dual citizen. As soon as he got his pakistani passport, he left country on 20th July using his UK passport and not on the Pakistani passport he had received just recently. Can UK immigration authorities confirm that someone travelled back to Uk on 20th july using UK passport # 506486804 ? Once again, Pakistanis are peace loving dignified Nation. We deserve better treatment by our international friends.
jibran | 8 years ago | Reply

How about the false claims by the judges to fraudulently bag multiple plots!

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