Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry stated that the obvious threat that caused the New Zealand cricket team to suddenly abandon their trip to Pakistan came from India.
Chaudhry said the device used to send threatening emails to the New Zealand government was owned by a man named Om Prakash Mishra, who lives 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.
Chowdhury revealed that the attempt to threaten the New Zealand team was initiated in August, when a fake Facebook account named by a former Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesperson announced that ISIS-K would target the team when they arrived in September.
Two days later, Chowdhury said that an Indian journalist close to former Afghan minister Emrullah Saleh published an article in the Sunday Guardian entitled “New Zealand Cricket Team May Face Terrorist Attack in Pakistan” Article.
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.
Chowdhury said that Prime Minister Imran Khan learned of the relevant development minutes after his speech at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
The minister said that the Prime Minister contacted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and told her that this decision will end in pain before the tour is finally cancelled and will have long-term negative effects.