A threat to New Zealand’s cricket team that prompted them to call off a tour of Pakistan came in an email that originated in India, Pakistan’s information Minister said on Wednesday.
New Zealand’s cricket squad arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning their tour of Pakistan last week citing a security threat. New Zealand Cricket said they were aware of a “specific and credible” threat but did not give details.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the threat had come via an email.
“This email was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore,” Chaudhry told reporters in Pakistan’s capital.
BREAKING — Pakistan Government claims threats received to NewZealand Cricket through fake ID’s were operated from India pic.twitter.com/OPJKslff2g
— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) September 22, 2021
India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to request for comment. Nuclear-armed neighbours and arch-rivals Pakistan and India regularly blame each other for acts of violence, charges each government denies.
Chaudhry added that the West Indies team, due to arrive in December, had also been sent a threat that he said was fake.
Shunned by all after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan have been trying to woo back top international teams.
New Zealand’s withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan’s hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off their men’s and women’s tours.
Earlier on Tuesday, Fawad implied that the withdrawal of England and New Zealand cricket teams from their scheduled series in Pakistan was a result of Prime Minister Imran Khan saying “absolutely not” to the US on using Pakistan as a base for the latter’s Afghan operations.
In July, Imran Khan had categorically stated that he would not allow the US to use Pakistan as a base for its Afghan operations and the statement had caused quite a stir, generating debate on mainstream and social media alike.
In a press briefing after a cabinet meeting chaired by Khan on Tuesday, Chaudhry said that Pakistan is paying the price for saying “absolutely not” to the US, saying nations have to pay such kind of prices if they want to hold their head high, adding that this is in fact a small price to pay and proud nations keep paying such prices, the report said.
“If you say ‘absolutely not’, then there’s a price that you have to pay,” the information minister said in response to a question about the cabinet’s discussion on the back-to-back withdrawals by England and New Zealand, adding: “I think the nation is ready to pay the price and tackle such challenges.”