Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has said in a press conference on the New Zealand cricket team’s sudden withdrawal from the scheduled ODI series that the threatening email which led to this was sent from India. Alongside Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, the information minister stated that this hoax was part of the “hybrid” and “fifth-generation war” that Pakistan is currently facing.
According to Chaudhry, a fake social media post had been shared under the name of former TTP commander Ehsanullah Ehsan in August. This post had warned the New Zealand to not visit Pakistan, since it would risk attack by the Islamic State terror group.
After this, Chaudhry stated, an article was published in The Sunday Guardian based on Ehsanullah Ehsan’s post. “Indian journalist Abhinandan Mishra has close relations with former Afghan vice-president Amrullah Saleh,” claimed the information minister.
He added that five days after this, on the 24th of August, New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill’s wife received an email from an ID purporting to be “Tehreek-e-Labbaik.” This email contained a death threat for the New Zealand batsman.
The information minister stated that a threatening email was also sent to the New Zealand team after the cancellation of their tour in Pakistan. It read:
“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 to New Zealand. Pakistan Zindabad, Allah hu Akbar.”
According to Chaudhry, this message was sent from a device based in India. “The IP address of the email generated was changed using a VPN to show Singapore as the location.” Further investigation indicated that the same device was operating 13 email accounts. “All IDs were generated on the names of Indian actors and drama celebrities,” he claimed.
This device, the information minister stated, belonged to an Indian man Om Prakash Mishra, from Maharashtra. “A fake ID of email@example.com was used to send a threat to the New Zealand team. This threat was sent from Maharashtra,” he said.