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Jul-29-2012 23:34printcomments

Pakistan Hits Back in UK Visa Scandal

The NADRA chairman said The Sun story was totally incorrect, false and malicious. He said the story seemed to have been crafted to defame Pakistan.

Pakistan UK Visa Scandal
Courtesy: http://paktribune.com

(ISLAMABAD) - The federal cabinet has directed NADRA to immediately file a libel suit against Britain's The Sun newspaper in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice, as the authority on Wednesday claimed there was no fraud or illegality in issuing ID card and passport to The Sun's undercover agent, Muhammad Ali s/o Muhammad Anwer Siddique.

The NADRA spokesman said they had documentary and video evidence that proves Muhammad Ali was himself present for the renewal of his expired CNIC. She also termed The Sun story a despicable attempt to undermine the strength of Pakistan's CNIC and passport issuance system.

"Investigation conducted by NADRA has unearthed the facts in the fake scam orchestrated by The Sun in its story titled 'Olympic terror visa racket'," she added further.

According to NADRA database, the spokeswoman added, Muhammad Ali obtained an ID card, number 35202-2660630-5, from NADRA on Feburary 6, 2002. He later immigrated to the UK and had been living there for around 10 years. His UK passport, number 506486804, was issued on October 24, 2011, and has the same name and photograph as in the NADRA record. The passport bears a fake place and date of birth. She said Muhammad Ali was picked by The Sun as undercover agent, and he traveled to Pakistan on July 8, 2012, stayed at a top hotel in Lahore and booked a room from July 8-31, 2012 at Rs 18,000 per day.

He went to NADRA office in Baghbanpura, Lahore, to get his photo updated against his own CNIC on July 10, 2012, rather than getting someone else's identity as claimed by The Sun's story. His CNIC was updated after matching with his previous record in the database. After getting his CNIC modified, he applied for his MRP on July 13, 2012, which was delivered to him on July 18, 2012. Since the same person applied to renew his own ID card and for provision of a passport, nothing was illegal.

Meanwhile, Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, accompanied by NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik, told the media that the federal cabinet had taken cognizance of media reports regarding the alleged passport scam of NADRA.

The immigration and passport director general and NADRA chairman gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet about the alleged scandal. The cabinet was informed that the investigation team did not find any evidence pertaining to the passport scandal as the British tabloid had claimed. The NADRA chairman said The Sun story was totally incorrect, false and malicious. He said the story seemed to have been crafted to defame Pakistan. Kaira said "dirty propaganda was unleashed against Pakistan". He also took a swipe at the paper, saying it "does not have a good reputation.

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Reverend Pervaiz Khokhar is a contributing writer in Asia who covers issues pertaining to Christianity in countries that fail to tolerate religious freedom. Perfaiz is the Chairman of The Preaching Society & Social Welfare Services, Mohallah Rasool Pura Street No 7 in Jhumra City, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

You can write to Pervaiz Khokhar at this email address: pssws2012@gmail.com

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