Threatening Emails Sent To New Zealand Squad From India, Says Fawad Chaudhary


Threatening emails sent to New Zealand squad from India, says Fawad Chaudhary

The Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister says that the device used to send the threatening emails to the New Zealand squad belonged to an Indian man named Om Prakash Mishra from Maharashtra.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Sept 22nd, 2021) Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that threatening emails were sent to the New Zealand squad from India.

Fawad Chaudhary said that this threatening email from Mumbai became the reason of New Zealand’s withdrawal from the recent ODI series.

He expressed these facts while addressing an important press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday (today). Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid was also present there who shared the details about stringent security measures in place for the visiting New Zealand squad.

The information minister said Pakistan was facing a hybrid and fifth generation war.

Fawad unveiled that a fake social media post that was shared with the former TTP commander Ehsanullah Ehsan’s name had warned New Zealand cricket team against touring Pakistan.

The minister said, “The post stated that New Zealand cricket team should not go to Pakistan as Daesh would attack it,”.

Chaudhry said that an article was published in The Sunday Guardian two days later, on August 21, by the paper's burea chief Abhinandan Mishra, who wrote the same thing: that the New Zealand cricket team could get attacked in Pakistan.

“The article published in The Sunday Guardian centered around Ehsanullah Ehsan's post," he said. "Indian journalist Abhinandan Mishra has close relations with former Afghan vice-president Amrullah Saleh," he added.

He also revealed that five days later, on August 24, a threatening email was sent to New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill's wife, sent from an ID using the Tehreek-e-Labbaik alias. In the email, Fawad Chaudhry revealed that a death threat was issued to the New Zealand batsman.

He also disclosed that “The email said that Guptill will be killed while on tour in Pakistan," he said. "After we investigated the ID, it was found that it was created on August 24, 2021 at 01:05am while the email was sent at 11:59am on August 25," he disclosed.

He stated that the email was sent using ProtonMail, adding that those who knew about the service were aware that it is a secure email service. He stated that Pakistan had asked Interpol to assist it further in probing the email and the perpetrator behind it.

The minister also said that despite all these threats did not cancel their tour and arrived in Pakistan.

Sheikh Rashid said, “We deployed a security team for New Zealand cricket squad larger than New Zealand's army itself,”.

Chaudhry said that a chartered flight brought New Zealand team on September 11 while the T20 squad arrived in the country the next day, on September 12.

He also said that "A detailed program containing their protocols and security was issued by the interior ministry, which included the squad being accompanied by two helicopters,”.

Chaudhry said that the New Zealand squad, on September 13, travelled from their hotel at the Rawalpindi cricket stadium, with the Pakistani players, where they held a "full practice session".

He went on to say that the team went to the same stadium on September 14 and another training session was held under the same tight security protocols in place.

The minister said that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed the PCB and Pakistani authorities on 10:30am on September 17 that the team has received information of a security threat from its government.

He said that the New Zealand cricket team itself was not affected much by the threat as the environment at the ground and the hotel was secure.

He also said, “I would like to remind you that Pakistan and New Zealand's security agencies had investigated all these threats and had concluded that all these threats issued on August 19, 21 and 24 were fake,”.

He said that the device used to send the threatening email to the New Zealand squad belonged to an Indian man named Om Prakash Mishra from Maharashtra.

He said, “This is a very strong link to India," .

“A fake ID of [email protected] was used to send a threat to New Zealand team. This threat was sent from Maharashtra,” said chaudhary.

He said PM Imran Khan had, despite being busy with official engagements in Dushanbe, phoned New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, requesting her not to abandon the tour at the last minute. He stated : “She, however, said they [New Zealand government] had received a 'critical threat' that their team would be attacked,".

Fawad chaudhary said that another email, after the tour was cancelled on September 17, was sent to New Zealand cricket team on September 17 at 11:25pm PST, from an ID generated under the name Hamza Afridi.

He said that Interpol Wellington intimated Interpol Pakistan about the threat on September 18, after it was sent. The minister read out the email's transcript:

"Dear New Zealand Cricket, you did wrong to go to Pakistan and now see what will happen to you. Your cricket team is not going anywhere now. In every place, the bombs will be placed now, from the hotel to your flight. My men will not forgive you, they are coming New Zealand. Pakistan Zindabad, Allah hu Akbar," read the minister.

The Minister said, “This email ID was sent from India,” he said, pointing out that the IP address of the email generated was changed using a VPN to show Singapore as the location. He also revealed that the device used to send email was investigation and it emerged that it was operating 13 email IDs.

“All these IDs were made on the Names of Indian actors and drama celebrities,” he added.

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.