ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Wednesday that cancellation of New Zealand Cricket Team’s tour of Pakistan was result of fifth generation hybrid war against Pakistan as fake news was generated by India to scuttle the tour. Addressing a joint press conference along with Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed here, he said India had been hatching conspiracies against Pakistan but like the past it would fail to weaken Pakistan’s standing at international level.
He said that India had done huge investment in Afghanistan to use its soil for operating terrorists in Pakistan but after fall of Kabul all its investment was wasted. The minister disclosed that the threatening email was generated from a secure service Proton mail and Pakistan has requested Interpol to assist for further probe.
He said that on August 19, a Facebook post was circulated from fabricated account made in the name of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan (ex spokesman of Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan) on social media asking New Zealand Cricket Board and government not to send the team to Pakistan, as plan had been made to target the New Zealand team but the post was not found on Facebook. He said that after two days, Indian newspaper Sunday Guardian, Bureau Chief Abhinandan Mishra wrote an article claiming that the New Zealand cricket team may face a terrorist attack in Pakistan.
The article was based on the fake post of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan. Mishra was also found in contact with former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, he said. He said that projection of threat by publication of an article by the Bureau Chief of a reputed Indian paper based on a fake social media post suggested an orchestrated campaign to scuttle the tour. Fawad said that on August 24, Martin Guptill’s wife received a threat email from email ID : firstname.lastname@example.org, threatening to kill Martin Guptill while on tour. The email ID was not associated with any SMN.
Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmad categorically said that there was no ‘real threat’ to the New Zealand cricket team, terming it all just a “drama’ created for the purpose. “Abrupt abandonment over security fear and deciding to return back shows there is a conspiracy behind the cancellation of this tour as foolproof security was provided to the squad,” Sheikh Rashid said.