Govt seeks to be part of investigation

Pakistan has officially asked Scotland Yard to allow it to be part of the investigations into the scandal.


Kamran Yousaf August 30, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The spot-fixing scandal allegedly involving Pakistan’s cricketers continued to create waves on Monday, with the government scrambling to get involved in the matter. With a three-member team from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) preparing to fly out to London, Pakistan has officially asked Scotland Yard to allow it to be part of the investigations into the scandal.

“Scotland Yard has been requested to make Pakistan a part of the investigation process,” Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told The Express Tribune.

The request has been made through the Pakistan High Commission in London, the spokesman said. “We are  waiting for their (Scotland Yard) response,” he added.

The government had already announced that it would send a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team to London to examine the allegations that some Pakistani cricketers were involved in spot-fixing. The team, which will be headed by by FIA director Altaf Hussain, who will be accompanied by Inam Ghani and Inspector Tahir, have applied for UK visas, and will proceed to London as soon as their documents come through.

Officials said the FIA team will study claims that Muhammad Amir and Muhammad Asif deliberately bowled no-balls during the final Test against England at Lord’s.

Scotland Yard or the Metropolitan Police of London is investigating claims that an undercover reporter paid agent Mazhar Majeed 150,000 pounds in return for exact details relating to the match.

Majeed, 35, was released on bail after being arrested over the weekend on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly’s standing committee on sport asked the government to dissolve the current Pakistan cricket setup over a betting-scam which has rocked the cricketing world.

Chairman of the Committee and MQM legislator Iqbal Muhammad Ali told reporters outside the Parliament House after chairing a meeting that committee members would resign en bloc if the team management and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt were not removed.

He said that the NA body had asked the government to recall the suspected players and called for initiating criminal proceedings against them.

However, it is not clear yet if the Scotland Yard would allow the suspected players to leave Britain. Sports Secretary Aziz Bilur disclosed that the passports of some of the cricketers had been taken away by the Scotland Yard.

“I am not sure the Scotland Yard would allow the players to leave the country even if the government recalls them,” the sports secretary told reporters after attending the standing committee’s meeting.

During the meeting, the chairman of the committee revealed that, “the new wicket keeper Zulqernain Haider has no a hairline fracture at all as reported by the team’s management… he was only sent back home to support the alleged fixing net.”

“I have his medical report and will share it with the members in the next special meeting,” he said. The legislators unanimously passed a resolution saying that an ad hoc committee should be appointed to look after the affairs of Pakistan cricket.

Iqbal said that the role of  the team’s security officer Col (retd) Najam should also be examined as he failed to contain the disciplinary breaches that took place during the current scam.

“The cricketers were free to move anywhere besides meeting strangers during the ongoing tour… why did he [security officer] fail to fulfill his task – this also needs to be looked in to” he said.

“Criminal proceedings besides exemplary punishment should be given to the players who are involved in the scam” Iqbal demanded.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.

COMMENTS (5)

Waqas Shabir | 11 years ago | Reply They need involvement... well' well' well' To get the insight, to know in advance - how to cover things up, if investigations lead to the ultimate players... the real big players... :) The patron himself and his clan; lolzzz
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad | 11 years ago | Reply Pakistani investigation team should also ask the ICC to come clean how it cleared Sydney Test & Amir talking over cell phone in Colombo? ICC must share their investigations on these two cases because now ICC is saying that Sydney Test will be investigated again. ICC can not should not be allowed to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
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